EU still SA’s largest trade bloc

The European Union (EU) is still South Africa’s largest trade bloc, with the composition of exports to the EU becoming more diverse, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said.

Speaking at the Europe Day celebrations on Wednesday, dti Director General Lionel October said South African exports to the EU were steadily growing.

“We are gradually moving from mainly commodity-based products to a more diversified export,” he said, adding that also included manufactured products.

South Africa’s primary exports to the EU are mining products, machinery and transport equipment and other semi-manufactured goods. EU exports to South Africa are dominated by chemicals, machinery and transport equipment and other semi-machinery.

October said relations between the EU and South Africa have matured over time.

Europe Day is an opportunity for activities and festivities designed to bring the EU’s institutions closer to the public, and the bloc’s peoples closer to one another. The ideas behind the EU were put forward on 9 May 1950. This date is celebrated as a key moment in the creation of the EU.

EU Ambassador to South Africa Roeland van de Geer said the bloc would continue to offer support to South Africa in addressing its key programmes. He supported intra-Africa Trade as a means to grow the African economy.

“We are fully committed to close co-operation with all countries that foster peace, stability and foreign investment, and South Africa has been leading in this respect; 70% of EU investors are fully satisfied with how things are operating in the country,” said van de Geer.

Source: BuaNews – 10 May 2012