Since its launch last November, the Africa–Scotland Business Network (ASBN) has achieved great success in bringing trade opportunities to South Africa. Since the network’s launch in Cape Town it has grown organically to a membership of 86 and counting.
Through direct engagement, ASBN is also facilitating a possible deal for a start-up food tech company; a Johannesburg-based virtual environment integration agent; and the Pineapple Growers Association to export fruit to Scotland. In addition to business ventures, ASBN is liaising with a global Scottish charity, that is considering expanding its footprint in South Africa.
“This was all within two weeks of launching, which is extremely exciting and promising. Our aim is to have 200 businesses on board in our marketplace by the end of 2020,” says ASBN business partner and Scottish entrepreneur Claire Alexander, who helped co-found the network with Nicola Probyn.
As Scotland is a global leader in renewable energy, with targets to be carbon neutral by 2050, and already a net producer of clean energy, many nations are turning to Scotland for its expertise in this sector.
The union of Scotland and South Africa appears to have great potential, as early interest and deals are already indicating. It is likely that the organisation will go from strength to strength, creating international trade, as well as knowledge and skills sharing opportunities for both nations.
“There is a great deal of synergy between the economies of Scotland and Africa, They are both strong in technology, renewable energy, agriculture and agri-tech, food and beverages, manufacturing and education,” Alexander told engineeringnews.co.za.