President Zuma eyes SA-Malaysia trade expansion


PRETORIA: (By Steve Jobs)– President Jacob Zuma has underlined the need to widen more scope to maximise trade between South Africa and Malaysia and explore the untapped potential that exists between both countries.

“South Africa offers opportunities in mining and minerals beneficiation as well as agriculture and agro-processing,” Zuma said at a South Africa/Malaysia business forum. The President is in Malaysia for an official visit.

The Presidency said the visit will boost co-operation in business, trade and investment. The latest trade figures confirm the growing links between South African and Malaysian companies. Total trade between Malaysia and South Africa has grown significantly from approximately R13.8 billion in 2008 to R19.7 billion in 2012.

Exports from South Africa to Malaysia increased significantly between 2008 and 2012 and there is further potential for trade expansion.

On the Asian continent, Malaysia is South Africa’s eighth largest export and import partner and South Africa remains Malaysia’s most important trade partner in Africa. Nando’s is one of the South African companies that already has offices in Malaysia. The others include Denel, Sasol and Sanlam.

With regard to investment, Malaysia is the largest investor in South Africa from Southeast Asia.

Zuma invited Malaysians to invest in South Africa, adding that the country was not only strategically located on the African continent, but was also a key investment location.

He noted that South Africa plans to invest more than R4 trillion in the coming years on infrastructure, focusing on rail, roads, energy, water, sanitation and the communication sectors throughout the country. The plan also includes the building and refurbishment of universities, schools and hospital.

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