As part of efforts to foster economic growth in Africa, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane has recently said that the country is aiming to boost trade with African states by half a trillion rand before the end of the current administration.
The Minister said this in a media briefing ahead of delivering the department’s Budget Vote at the Old Assembly Chamber, in Parliament.
“We are targeting half a trillion trade with Africa by 2019.”
Mashabane noted that the 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, also stating that the same applied to SA’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 R2 trillion by the end of this administration. Without a doubt, an unprecedented trade expansion,” she said.
She said SA’s diplomatic presence in the continent has brought tangible benefits in the form of economic growth and job creation.
The Minister pointed that the work of the department has 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 R11.4 billion in 1994 to R385 billion in 2015”.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the Budget Vote was being tabled under the theme “championing an African continent, which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united and which aspires to a world that is just and equitable”.
The Minister’s budget vote was also anchored on several activities through SADC and the African Union (AU) Commission, including sustaining peace, security and stability, and championing economic integration as envisaged in the AU’s agenda 2063.