SOUTH AFRICA AIMS TO BOOST TRADE WITH OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO 500 BILLION RAND

South Africa is aiming to boost trade with other African countries states from 385 billion rand last year to half a trillion rand (about 34.16 billion US dollars) before the end of the current administration, says International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane.

Briefing the media here Tuesday ahead of presenting her department’s Budget vote in Parliament, she said: “We are targeting half a trillion trade with Africa by 2019.”

She said the planned increase in trade and investment relations in both the African continent and the Asia and Middle East markets was linked to the growth of South Africa’s diplomatic missions in those areas.

She said the same applied to South Africa’s traditional trade partners like the Americas and Europe.

“With additional economic diplomacy efforts and enhanced national coordination, South African trade with the world can reach 2.0 trillion Rand by the end of this administration; without a doubt, an unprecedented trade expansion,” she said.

She said South Africa’s diplomatic presence in the continent had brought tangible benefits in the form of economic growth and job creation. The work of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation had increased the country’s presence on the continent from seven diplomatic missions in 1994 to 47 in 2015.

“Consequently, South Africa’s trade in the continent increased 39 times from 11.4 billion Rand in 1994 to 385 billion Rand in 2015. In 1994, trade with Asia and the Middle East combined was approximately 760 billion Rand for Asia and 116 billion with the Middle East,” she said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK