Regional Trade Forum

Chairperson:            Len van Driel (Manager: Certification, Standards and Regulations: Africa – Caterpillar Africa)

Vice-Chairperson:  Astan Naidoo (Sales and Marketing Manager: Sub-Saharan Africa- Intertek)

The Forum enjoys representation from SARS, the dti and Customs at meetings. Topics that are addressed include energy, the electricity crisis, research and development incentives and taxation laws. The Forum keeps an active watch on trade blockages and hurdles with the intention of elevating this to government level. In addition, proposed new legislation is monitored and submissions made to government. The Forum fulfils a vital role in monitoring trade issues.


  1. To examine the trade needs of member companies and debate matters of broad interest (e.g. new regulations, proposed trading agreements, logistical matters, trading constraints, security, sustainability, taxes/tariffs, and best-practice);
  2. To engage with government and stakeholders related to trade (dti, NEPAD, etc.); and
  3. To benchmark good trade management practice strategies, tactics and operational measures

Past Speakers have included:

  • Ashley Bubna, Southern Africa Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce, on Prosper Africa
  • Asmita Parshotam, Researcher for the Economic Diplomacy Programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), on “Unpacking the AfCFTA and its ramifications”
  • Dr Martyn Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte, on “Trade Trends for Africa in 2019”
  • Dr Andrew Shaw, Director at PwC, on “Strengthening Africa’s Gateways to trade”
  • Andrew Mukandila, Industrial Policy expert at the dti, on the 10th iteration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP)
  • Mbini Kutta, Independent Consultant at Kutta Associates, on “African Regional Integration”
  • Dr Martyn Davies, Managing Director: Emerging Markets & Africa, at Deloitte, on an update for African trade trends in 2018
  • Dhiren Vanmali, Governmental Affairs Director at Ford Motor Company Southern Africa, on “Ford’s approach to business in Africa”
  • Duncan Bonnett, Director: Strategy and Business Development, and Ms Liz Whitehouse, Managing Director at Africa House, on an update on trade trends in Southern Africa
  • Catherine Grant Makokera, Director at Tutwa Consulting, on “Regional Integration Update: Southern and Eastern Africa”
  • Vanessa Adams, Director for the USAID Southern Africa Trade & Investment Hub, on the Trade & Investment Hub and its services for multinationals in Southern Africa
  • Dr Martyn Davies, Managing Director: Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte, on Trend for Africa in 2017
  • Pieter Dingemans, National Practice Leader: Trade Credit at Marsh Africa, on “Mitigating the Risks when exporting to Africa”
  • Duane Newman, Managing Director at Cova Advisory & Associates, on an update on incentives programmes in South Africa
  • Philip Wyllie, consultant at the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) on “Logistics and infrastructure in Southern Africa”
  • Jed Michaletos, Chief Officer: Customs & Excise at SARS, and Erich Kieck, Group Executive: Customs Strategy and Policy at SARS, on ‘An update on South African customs”
  • Darryl Bernstein, Partner & Baker McKenzie, on “Trade Compliance in Africa”
  • Brent Omdahl, Senior Deputy Commercial Officer at the U.S. Commercial Service, on Trade Tools to access African markets.
  • Liz Whitehouse, Director at Whitehouse & Associates, and Duncan Bonnet, Director at Whitehouse & Associates, on “Developing corridors in Southern and East Africa: Opportunities, Obstacles and Threats”
  • Matthew Stern, CEO at DNA Economics, on trade in services

Copies of these presentations can be accessed here.

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