Wichita aviation gets special offer from South Africa

WICHITA,Kansas – The Air Capital is making more international connections.

On Tuesday, the South African delegation wrapped up its visit to Wichita to discuss potential business deals with local companies.

The country is offering an opportunity to pay for five individuals from five different small businesses or major corporations to showcase their products at this year’s Aerospace and Defense show in South Africa.

“Bringing them to Wichita, the fact that they want to come and talk to us really says a lot,” said John Potts with RedGuard.

Kalifa Deime with Butler National Corporation in Newton says 50 percent of his company’s sales already come from international sales. He says this opportunity gives them a chance to grow and add jobs locally.

“This could mean a lot,” said Deime. “We’re talking about money. I’ll go and meet any people who are interested in what we do. We sell product, I’m pretty much getting money for free.”

The exclusive offer was presented to Kansas Global Trade Services. Around 60 aviation manufactures and corporations were invited to meet with delegates.

“Each time a Wichita company sells its product, then that keeps one more person or a group of people in Wichita employed,” said CEO Karyn Page.

Potts says this could open the door for international trade for his company.

“When it comes to the exporting opportunity worldwide,” said Potts. “We have potential clients in South Africa and we’re seeking those out and are trying to build those relationships.”

Ann Maki of the Multicultural Education and Communication Institute says this is also building a much needed relationship.

“If they are interested in bringing people here to Wichita, we could also help polish their communication skills for interfacing with our companies here in the U.S.,” said Maki.

The South African government has already started looking at Wichita companies that have applied. They’ll make the final decision on who they will invite to come for their aerospace show in the fall.

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