The European Union (EU) is still South Africa’s largest trade bloc in the world, Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry, Lionel October, said at the Europe Day celebration in Johannesburg this week.
October said South Africa’s exports to the EU were growing and the composition of those exports was becoming more diverse. “We are gradually moving from mainly commodity-based products to a more diversified export,” he said.
According to research, 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 added that when South Africa achieved its democracy in 1994, it had an isolated economy and the EU was one of the first trade blocs to offer a trade and investment agreement that had 90% of the goods duty free for twelve years.