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Gauteng's hosting of the world's biggest football exhibition, Soccerex, in November will give a welcome boost to the economy and job creation, said Soccerex chief executive Duncan Revie.
A media briefing by the Gauteng provincial government and media sponsor Johnnic Communications was held yesterday at the Sandton Convention Centre to announce the arrival of the international football showcase.
"It is becoming an important part of everyone's football calendar," Revie said.
Last year's Soccerex, held in Dubai, saw more than R14billion worth of business being signed off.
Soccerex will bring professional soccer clubs, suppliers and buyers of football products and services from all over the world to one location for networking and business opportunities.
Soccerex ambassador and former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe said the event would boost South African football and local businesses.
"It is exciting, especially with the size of the tournament. It is a great opportunity for us to learn from international professionals."
Johannesburg will host the event for the three years leading up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup in an effort to "build a platform for South African soccer", said Revie.
Soccerex sales and marketing director James Worrel said the event was the ideal place to showcase products and services to an audience of global buyers.
Small businesses might find it difficult to exhibit their products and services because of the nature of the exhibition, said Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Barbara Creecy.
"We are looking for ways to help new entrants into the market, but the pricing might be beyond small enterprises," she said.
Worrel said the size of the exhibition made competition for spaces intense.
"There are various levels of involvement with the basic level of a delegate costing R4200. We want to maintain a group of high net worth individuals."