In a drive to create market access for South African products and services in the South-East Asia market, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will, later this month, lead a business delegation comprising 17 South African companies on an outward selling mission to Indonesia and Singapore.

The mission, taking place from September 15 to 19, would see representation from companies in the food processing sectors – including seafood, fruit juice, canned fruit, flowers, nuts, wine and processed foods – as well as firms active in the cosmetics, automotive parts and boatbuilding industries.

In addition to creating market access for South African value-added products and services, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said the mission would promote South Africa as an investment destination of choice.

“The selection of these two countries was informed by the DTI’s diversification strategy, which aims to leverage market opportunities and ensure South Africa’s exports to dynamic high-growth markets are facilitated,” he commented.

South Africa was Indonesia’s largest trade partner in Africa, accounting for 22.18% of Indonesia’s total trade with Africa in 2011.

Indonesia’s gross domestic product grew 6.3% in 2007 and 6.1% in 2008. Although growth slowed to 4.5% in 2009, given reduced global demand, Indonesia was the third-fastest growing Group of 20 member, trailing only China and India.

Singapore, meanwhile, was one of South Africa’s key trading partners in the South-East Asian region, with total bilateral trade increasing from R17.6-billion in 2012 to R28.5-billion at end of 2013.

Between 2011 and 2013, South African exports to Singapore increased 248%, while imports increased 132% over the same period. South Africa and Singapore’s total trade amounted to R28.5-billion in 2013.