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One local CEO is looking south to do business - South Africa, to be exact.

Fort Lauderdale business consultant Bernhard Schutte, founder of Digital Media Network, took an 11-day trip to South Africa and Botswana to plan an upcoming trade mission to the region.

Schutte and his team inspected several potential sites throughout Capetown and Johannesburg, and met with South African officials to identify opportunities for the South Florida delegation slated to arrive next October. Among the industries identified: aerospace, manufacturing, marine, retail, freight and information communications technology.

Schutte said he chose Capetown for the trade mission because of the similarities between the port city and Fort Lauderdale.

"They're both water cities and they have the same growth problems, in terms of logistics and harbors," he said. "They are both very involved with trade."

Schutte spent the second half of his trip in Botswana, where he attended the Botswana World Expo and identified several opportunities for South Florida businesses in the country's energy sector. As energy contracts between Botswana and South Africa expire next year, energy prices are expected to increase drastically in Botswana, according to the nation's economic officials.

Julia Neyman
South Florida Business Journal