South Africa and Indonesia agree to enhance bilateral relations
17 Oct 2012
Indonesia and South Africa agreed to intensify their bilateral relations in order to enhance trade between the two countries. The agreement was announced at the end of the second session of the two countries’ Joint Trade Committee (JTC) that was held in Jakarta, Indonesia. South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and his counterpart Gita Wirjawan, co-chaired the meeting. The trade relations enhancement will provide mutual benefit for the economic development of both countries.
The two countries agreed to conduct a joint study with the purpose to explore trade complementarities. Minister Davies said that it was important for emerging economies to seek each other.
“It is through the strengthening of the relations between the emerging economies that we can actually realise the number of objectives which we are setting ourselves. These will enable us to develop our economies, create employment for our people, and raise their living standards,” said Davies.
Davies added that South Africa was committed to strengthening regional integration across the different regional economic communities. He said South Africa was a potential gateway for any investors that want to invest in the African continent.
“We make a distinction between being gate keepers and gateway. We do not try to say that any other player has got to relate to other countries on the African continent through us. The African continent is a continent of home and growth", concluded Davies.
Minister Gita Wirjawan called on South Africa to contribute to the strengthening of economic
resilience. He said that economic resilience has an outcome of discipline economic policies that will help to enhance the foundation of bilateral economic cooperation of the two countries.
The main issues that were discussed in the meeting are market access and import regulation. The South Africa side raised concerns relating to the designation of ports of entry for imports of fresh produce agricultural products, and the introduction of an import licensing regime for imports of horticultural products. The meeting also discussed sectoral cooperation such as trade promotion and capacity building for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with particular interest in jewellery design and Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
Indonesia proposed cooperation under the New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnerships (NAASP) framework. Under this cooperation, Indonesia will work together with South Africa in order to assist other countries in the African region as a form of attention and solidarity.
Bilateral trade between South Africa and Indonesia has experienced an upward trend between 2007 and 2011. Our top 10 exported products to Indonesia amongst others, comprised of chemical wood pulp, ferrous waste, iron ores, aluminium, phosphoric acid, semi-finished product, apples, pears, quinces and mechanical appliances. South Africa’s exports mainly consist of raw materials and there is a need to diversify them to include value-added products.
South Africa ranks 23rd for Indonesia’s export products and ranks 26th for Indonesia’s imports.
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Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
17 Oct 2012
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