Last week, Dr Rob Davies – Minister of Trade and Industry, met with Dr Liam Fox – International Trade Secretary, in London for bilateral talks on trade and economic relations. This furthers an existing high-level engagement between the United Kingdom and South Africa. In 2015, bilateral trade in goods and services between the UK and South Africa stood at £7.6 billion with UK exports of goods and services increasing by 25% over the past 10 years while South Africa’s export has increased over 5% on an annual basis over the past 10 years – making South Africa the third biggest trading partner for the UK in the Commonwealth.
UK’s decision to leave the European Union has brought about a strengthened demonstration of UK’s interest in Africa. UK DFID has already made some intense allies and development projects within the East African region.
“The UK is a historical and strategic trade and investment partner for South Africa and remains a key market for especially agriculture exports accounting for over 20% of SA’s exports of wine and 30% of fruit exports globally. The UK is the biggest destination in the EU for South African investment, accounting for 30% of SA investments into Europe. Furthermore, 46% of SA’s global investment originates from the UK,” said Minister Dr Rob Davies.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, also commented: “South Africa is a key trading partner to the UK – a long-standing, strong and strategic ally for the United Kingdom in Africa and internationally. It is our largest export market in Africa; the largest economy in the southern Africa region and a fellow G20 member. South Africa is also the largest recipient of UK foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa accounting for 30% of total UK FDI in, a value of £13.1 billion. As we become an even more outward looking country, we will continue building on our relationship with South Africa and today’s meeting was an opportunity to discuss how we progress that.”