PAGE Supports Identification of Green Trade Opportunities in South Africa


Pretoria, 22 November 2016 - On 22 November 2016, thirty stakeholders participated in a Development Dialogue SeminarGreen Industrial Development in South Africa, which was hosted by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), a national institution which supports policy development through research and dialogue. The dialogue provided a platform to discuss the work of TIPS on climate-compatible industrial development, and to qualify the findings arising from an analysis being undertaken as part of the PAGE-supported activity, South Africa Green Economy Industry and Trade Analysis (SA-GEITA). 

In South Africa, PAGE intends to contribute to green economy policy implementation through improved collaboration and coordination, enhanced sectoral reform and improved capacities in government institutions and collaborating partners. The SA-GEITA which is focused on sectoral reform, is implemented by TIPS on behalf of PAGE and government partners, to identify and assess sectors or industrial segments that offer particular opportunities for green industrial development, both for import substitution and for and exports.

Phase 1 of the SA-GEITA comprises of a scoping study focused on identifying potential sectors for further analysis. The Development Dialogue provided a platform to qualify the findings arising from the policy and trade data analysis, and to raise awareness of the SA-GEITA and the importance of working on green trade and industry issues in South Africa. 


Participants at the Development Dialogue Seminar, hosted at TIPS

A presentation on the scoping phase of the SA-GEITA, delivered by TIPS economists, Shakespear Mudombi and Chris Wood, affirmed the divergent perceptions of a green economy in South Africa, despite the existence of an enabling policy framework. While certain products and sectors, such as renewable energy, biofuels and energy efficiency, are being promoted by Government, they rarely address the promotion of trade and industry.  

The scoping phase of the SA-GEITA drew on policy and trade data analysis, complemented with stakeholder insights. The assessment found that the scale of green trade is still low, but that there are key products where South Africa holds a comparative advantage such as downstream opportunities in platinum-group metals. Other high trade-potential sectors include small-scale renewable energy and smart grids, biogas-transport value chain, composite materials, and water-related technologies. 

The next phase of the SA-GEITA will select up to five of the initial green trade opportunities identified for deeper analysis to assess whether the creation of a resource-efficient, low-carbon and export-oriented industry can position South Africa in the development of green technologies, reduce dependencies on imports of these technologies and ancillary services, and leapfrog brown technology segments, at great environmental, social and economic benefit to the South African people.

If you would like to learn more about the South Africa Green Economy Industry and Trade Analysis please reach out to pageSA@ilo.org.