ProudlySA wants to boost globally competitive local businesses

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Buy Local Summit and Expo discusses how SMEs can outcompete global players

The influx of foreign products negatively impacts local businesses and severely affects economic growth as a result.

ProudlySA, the government-led campaign that promotes local production and consumption, together with local entrepreneurs are rejuvenating the campaign to encourage the manufacturing of innovative products.

Speaking at the 4th annual ProudlySA Buy Local Summit and Expo in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Lesely Sedibe, CEO of ProudlySA, said in order for people to see South African goods differently, there needs to be a change of mindset by consumers, and for entrepreneurs to embrace competition

The Expo promotes business-to-business trade, and yesterday over 150 big businesses, government, enterprise development agencies, big private businesses and SME exhibitors met to discuss the progress of local procurement.

Among the delegates who were supposed to attend the summit were the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, but they canceled at last minute.

Speakers like Mango Airlines COE Nico Bezuidenhout and the CEO of Nestle, Ian Donald, including Sedibe, agreed on the need to create businesses that first serve local needs but also compete on global markets.

"South African businesses should embrace the competition brought about by foreign products and not see them as a threat," says Sedibe.

Business strategist Michael Jackson spoke about how businesses can survive during the time of market changes as a result of the competition brought about by the arrival of foreign goods.

"ProudlySA is not about slapping a brand on a product but about discovering our own uniqueness and consciously challenging the norm, the conventional wisdom, and striving for world class products," he said.

He said technology is key to bringing about change in the manufacturing landscape of the world, and that South African entrepreneurs need to be ready for it.

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