26 March 2012
More than 30 South African businesses are taking part in a five-day initiative aimed at creating market penetration for local value-added products and services in Russia.
Led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Trade and Investment Initiative follows on President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to Russia in August 2010, which recommended efforts to increase trade between the two countries.
Oil and gas, agro-processing, metal and aerospace enterprises, as well as the mining and capital equipment sectors, are participating in the initiative, which kicks off on Monday and includes mini-exhibitions and business-to-business meetings.
South Africa’s export basket to Russia is currently dominated by primary sector products, particularly agricultural products such as citrus fruits, apples and pears. Russia’s exports basket, by contrast, is concentrated more on fabricated products.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said there had been substantial growth in total trade between South Africa and Russia between 2006 to 2011, from R2.5-billion to R3.2-billion.
“South African exports increased from R670-million in 2006 to R2.02-billion in 2011,” Davies said last week.
Russia is the world’s seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixth-largest by purchasing power parity. It is South Africa’s 41st biggest export destination.