South Africa, Brazil tackle trade issues

14 November 2012

South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his Brazilian counterpart, Fernando Pimentel, thrashed out various trade issues between the two countries, including concerns over anti-dumping investigations into Brazilian chicken exports, during a meeting in Brasilia on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, South Africa launched an investigation following a complaint from the chicken industry that Brazilian chicken was being dumped in the country.

“Brazil was concerned about certain procedural aspects of the investigation, and as such called for bilateral consultations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO),” the Department of Trade and Industry’s Sidwell Medupi said on Tuesday.

“In the meeting with Pimentel, Davies said that he would assess the matter based on the outcome of the continuing investigation by the International Trade Administration Commission.

“The Brazilian side indicated that it understood that South Africa, as a fellow developing country, was also concerned about its domestic chicken industry,” Medupi added.

Brazil welcomed further discussion with South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. This as Brazilian pork is not allowed to be imported into South Africa due to outstanding sanitary matters, including risk mitigation measures related to various swine diseases.

On the issue of wine, South African wine exports had been experiencing several non-tariff barriers in accessing the Brazilian market.

“Minister Davies appreciated initiatives by Brazil to ease certain obstacles related to the importation of South African wines. It is hoped that the resolution of the remaining issues would assist in expanding our wine export to Brazil,” Medupi said.

At the meeting between the two leaders, Pimentel committed to investigate South African concerns regarding procedural delays related to standards testing and the issuing of certificates that affects the sale of medical equipment, pesticides and automotive glass.

In order for these products to be sold in the Brazilian market, the government needs to verify that products meet certain standards. However, South African exporters have indicated that these processes are taking too long.