JAKARTA (ANTARA) – Indonesia continued to work to increase trade cooperation with South Africa by participating in Africa’s Big 7 trade fair in Johannesburg, South Africa from June 18-20, 2023.
Africa’s Big 7 is an annual business exhibition, which this year attracted around 3,500 businessmen from 37 countries. Participants are from the food and beverage, catering, retail, hospitality, sports and textile industries.
The charge d’affaires of the Indonesian embassy in Pretoria, Victor Joseph Sambuka, said Indonesian products should continue to be promoted in South Africa to improve trade relations between the two countries.
However, Indonesian product penetration in South Africa and neighboring markets faces challenges due to high tariffs, he pointed out. This is different from Europe and neighboring countries, which charge lower tariffs.
„The South African government has imposed relatively high tariffs of 0-30 percent on food products,” he noted, according to a report received in Jakarta from the Indonesian embassy in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Indonesia’s trade with South Africa showed a positive trend in the 2020-2022 period, said Tony Hendriawan, head of the Indonesia Trade Development Center in Johannesburg, although trade remained stagnant in the January-April 2023 period.
Total trade between the two countries has increased by 60.6 percent from USD 1.3 billion in 2020 to USD 3.25 billion in 2022. The value of exports increased by 38.07 percent from USD 572 million in 2020 to USD 1.1 billion in 2022.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s exports to South Africa in the January-April 2023 period were relatively high at US$294.4 million, compared to the same period in 2022, when they were US$330 million.
In general, the trade balance between Indonesia and South Africa in January-April 2023 reached USD 554 million.
Hendriawan explained that Indonesia’s processed food exports to South Africa in the past two years still need to be improved.
In 2021, the value reached 429 thousand US dollars, and in 2022, it was recorded at 320 thousand.
Meanwhile, the export value of beverage products has increased by 37 percent from USD 22,900 in 2021 to USD 31,500 in 2022.
There are many challenges in increasing the penetration of Indonesian products, but we hope that the products will have the opportunity and potential to enter the South African market, he said.
He added that he hoped the Indonesian products exhibited at Africa’s Big 7 Exhibition would contribute to increasing Indonesia’s market share and provide business opportunities for market expansion in South Africa.
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