Feb 03, 2014
City of Houston looks to woo potential SA energy, trade partnersBack
Houston|Johannesburg|AECOM|Africa|Aviation|Baker Hughes|Camac International|CenterPoint Energy|Chevron|Gas|Halliburton|Petrochemicals|Sasol|System|Training|Weatherford International|Africa|South Africa|United States|USD|Energy|Energy Capital|Energy Giants|Energy Sector|Namely Energy|Natural Gas Multinational|Oil|Oil And Gas|Petrochemicals|Petrochemicals Giant|Services|Annise Parker|Genaro Pe|Mario Diaz|Rodney Ellis|Texas
© Reuse this
Parker, who would lead a delegation on the sidelines of the fifth biennial C40 Mayors Summit, in Johannesburg, noted that there was “great” potential to strengthen the economic ties between the two parties, most specifically in the energy sector.
Between February 1 and 8, the delegation, which included representatives from energy giants Aecom and CenterPoint Energy, and was sponsored by multinationals Chevron and Halliburton, would meet with high-level government officials and business decision-makers to further boost yearly trade between Houston and South Africa, which totalled $1.3-billion in 2012.
Representatives from Houston-area companies specialising in aviation, property and international trade and investments were also members of the delegation, which would this week host a “Doing Business with Houston” seminar for engagement with the South African private sector and investment community.
“With a strong emerging market like South Africa, it makes sense from both a business and cultural perspective to have strong ties to the area. I look forward to working with South African leaders to ensure that our city and state are able to continue the solid partnership that has served both so well,” Texas state senator and mission delegate Rodney Ellis noted at a press briefing, in Johannesburg, on Monday.
Houston and South Africa had established cultural and economic ties, with over 370 Houston-based companies reporting business or trade ties with the country.
Of the 214 firms in the Houston region affiliated with subsidiaries in South Africa, 14 were headquartered in Houston, namely energy firm Camac International, oilfield services company Baker Hughes, oil and gas major National Oilwell Varco and oil and natural gas multinational Weatherford International.
In addition, South African petrochemicals giant Sasol operated two subsidiary locations in Houston.
“Moreover, since 2000, total yearly trade between South Africa and Houston grew at a compound yearly growth rate of 8.9%,” added Ellis.
The Houston Customs District was ranked South Africa’s fifth-largest US gateway for international trade by value, while South Africa ranked as Houston’s thirty-ninth-largest international trade partner by value.
Houston’s exports to South Africa totalled $923.6-million in 2012, while Houston’s imports from South Africa rose 4.8% in the same year to $423.9-million.
In terms of seaborne trade, Houston ranked as South Africa’s fourth-largest US gateway for international seaborne trade, while total seaborne trade between Houston and South Africa totalled $1.2-billion in 2012.
Trade promotion organisation the Greater Houston Partnership International Investment & Trade VP Genaro Peña described Houston’s economy as “diverse and robust”, adding that it “matched up well” with the types of industries being pursued locally.
“We are excited about the growth prospects this trade mission presents us and South Africa. We believe that Houston presents a great opportunity for expanding South African firms looking to do business overseas,” he commented.
Houston Airport System director Mario Diaz added that, as Houston already boasted a strong record of training African aviation professionals from all three major airports in South Africa, the delegation would also pursue engagement with several aviation stakeholders.
"We are looking forward to starting a vigorous dialogue with officials from South African Airways and OR Tambo International Airport while we are in the Johannesburg area. We will also meet with members of the aerospace industry as we continue to pursue our spaceport licence at Ellington Airport, in Texas,” he pointed out.
According to the US Census Bureau, almost 2 200 Houston-area residents were born in South Africa, while almost 1 100 Houston residents had South African ancestry.
Edited by: Tracy Hancock© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
International heavy-equipment engine manufacturer Cummins’ regional distribution centre (RDC) in Woodmead, Gauteng, has halved the average logistics distribution time for clients in Southern Africa and allowed for critical or long-lead stock to be kept closer to...