We facilitate export services

About sippo

We facilitate sustainable trade.

The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), with the overall vision of sustainable and inclusive economic growth and integration of SIPPO partner countries into world trade, through its mission of supporting Business Support Organizations (so called BSOs - which includes public or private associations, chambers of commerce, export promotion agencies, among others) to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies. As of 2017, SIPPO is implemented by Swisscontact, in partnership with BHP Brugger and Partners and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.

Through SIPPO's network of international and national experts, the programme aims at supporting BSOs to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies. The programme is a powerful tool in promoting sustainable trade in 11 countries and 6 sectors: Fish & Seafood, Processed Foods, Natural Ingredients, Technical Wood, Value-added Textiles and Sustainable Tourism.

SIPPO supports BSOs through tailor-made capacity building in two areas:

1) Improving BSO Market entry activities 
through capacity building in market intelligence, trade fair participation, selling missions, buyer missions and study tours, and

2) Institutional Strengthening of Business Support Organizations (BSOs) 
through Strategic planning and positioning, Project Cycle Management and Knowledge sharing and learning.

BSOs are capacitated at their own speed and ownership is placed entirely in the hands of the service provider: BSOs who want to explore and improve access to new markets and opportunities for their export-ready companies to undertake these "last mile services" activities.

SIPPO thereby enhances BSO member companies' performances in export and thus contributes to increased income and more and better jobs.  

SIPPO is active in the Processed Foods and Natural Ingredients sectors in South Africa, which are developed export sectors with suppliers who can deliver quality products and meet buyers' requirements. South Africa is an international player in canned fruit and vegetables, fruit juices and concentrates, dried fruit and nuts, as well as essential and vegetable oils/extracts and other natural ingredients.

SIPPO Code of Conduct

Our services

Business Support Organizations open the doors to world trade through their services to exporters.

We support BSOs to improve their services for exporting companies, and to strengthen their own institutional set-up, as well as connect them to an extensive network.

In our partner countries, we build the capacities of Business Support Organizations (BSOs), such as export promotion boards and sector associations. We will support them so that they can provide high-quality services to their client companies and members in the areas of market intelligence, B2B matchmaking and networking. In this way, we provide assistance to embed export promotion within national structures of our partner countries while supporting reliable sources for your benefit.

SIPPO works with partners that are committed to the sustainable trade of goods and services, i.e. socially responsible and environmentally friendly, in accordance with  our Code of Conduct.

SIPPO supports BSOs in numerous areas:

Market Access Activities

Learn which markets to target and how to connect your companies with suppliers, through the organization of trade fair participations, selling and buyer missions, study tours, and combining them with on-site visits.

Strategic Planning

Learn to define your role in export promotion within your sector and country through a strategic and focused approach. 

Knowledge Management and Networking

Learn how to access, share and update knowledge and information to build your activities on the existing knowledge and experience. Profit from our large network of contacts. We facilitate networking events and invite to conferences and workshops.

Project and Performance Management

We help you assess, and provide tools for, your project and performance management.

Our team - your contact

Utilise the wealth of knowledge and years of experience offered by SIPPO and its network.

Contact us to find out how you could benefit from the SIPPO programme. We look forward to assisting you. 

Anna Reyneke

Country Representative South Africa

Gordon Gleimius

Export Promotion Assistant South Africa


Processed Foods

South Africa’s agro-processing sector is a key sector for its potential to spur economic growth and create sustainable employment, largely because of its strong backward linkage with the primary agriculture sector. Canned and frozen fruit and vegetables produced in South Africa are well-known internationally and indigenous Rooibos and Honey bush tea, as well as fruit and vegetable juices, are highly sought after in export markets.

SIPPO supports its BSO partners’ export promotion strategies and provides guidance and support for the preparation of their export-ready companies for participation in the right trade promotion activities and markets for their processed food products.

Natural Ingredients

With its rich biodiversity as the third most bio-diverse country in the world, South Africa is a highly viable source for natural ingredients, with unique opportunities and growing demand in international markets.

Natural ingredients are natural remedies and herbs, aromatic plants, essential and vegetable oils and extracts, spices, nuts, honey and other ingredients for the food, cosmetics, health and pharmaceutical industries. With the growing demand for natural ingredients at a global level, this sector has substantial export growth potential. SIPPO supports BSOs in the export promotion of natural ingredients from South Africa to potential international markets.

Partner BSOs

SIPPO identified strong partner BSOs for collaboration in the relevant export sectors

Through our cooperation with BSOs, we facilitate sophisticated and improved service delivery for the benefit of export-ready companies.

Together with the UN body of the International Trade Center ITC (, export promotion boards and sector associations were being assessed in 2017 to identify potential areas for improvements.

This involved interviews related to export promotion services, organisational structures, quality management, performance management, as well as export and sector strategies of the BSOs.

In South Africa, SIPPO collaborates with the following BSO partners:

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)

Export Development, Promotion and Outward Investment (EDP & OI), a division of the dtic, aims to increase South Africa’s exporter base and promotes exports of value-added goods and services in alignment with its industrialisation programme, by developing a sustainable, long-term competitive market positioning and international profile.

Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN)

Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) is an Investment Promotion Agency, contributing to economic development by promoting the province of KwaZulu-Natal as the premier investment destination and leader in export trade. 

Cape Town & Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment (Wesgro)

Wesgro is the official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape and the first point of contact for foreign buyers, local exporters and investors into the region. 

Cosmetic Export Council of South Africa (CECOSA)

The Cosmetic Export Council of South Africa (CECOSA) is a Section 21, non-profit organisation, and has a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Its mandate is to grow exports and exporters within the sector. 





SIPPO South Africa has built a close relationship with a number of BSOs in South Africa like Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN). The visit of the Swiss Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Dr Nicolas Brühl, to Durban also included a meeting with the TIKZN team at their premises in Durban. It was a unique opportunity for SIPPO and this important BSO to demonstrate to the Ambassador the importance of the support SIPPO provides.


Pretoria 07.04.2022

BSOs and their cosmetic ingredients’ companies gained valuable market information on the Nordic market during this webinar, held on 30 March 2022



SIPPO SA partnered with the UNIDO implemented GQSP-SA project to facilitate virtual workshop sessions on 18 & 20 August 2020, for BSO partners, on the potential of the Natural Ingredients sector in South Africa for supplying the lucrative and growing European market.



As part of Women’s Month in South Africa, SIPPO SA, participated in a women-to-women webinar on 11 August 2020 hosted by the BSO, SAEOPA, to celebrate the role of women in the natural products industry.

BSO Stakeholder Workshop, 15 - 16 April 2019


South African BSOs agree on best practices and synergies for trade promotion.


In collaboration with its partners, SIPPO identifies and participates in targeted international trade promotion events and activities.

With the aim of promoting and increasing the export of Processed Food and Natural Ingredients from South Africa, all activities with partner BSOs will have a strong focus on bringing companies to selling platforms and connecting exporters and importers.

Visit this section regularly for information on upcoming events such as international trade fairs; study tours and on-site visits, matchmaking and networking activities buyer-seller meetings, training for trade fair participation, workshops, conferences and more.