The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe says South Africa’s export market diversification strategy has identified the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic bloc as one of the priority markets for the country’s exports. Magwanishe was speaking at the ASEAN-Africa Business Forum which took place in Sandton.
ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
“The ASEAN bloc is one of the priority markets for South Africa’s Export Market Diversification Strategy. Our strategic relation with the ASEAN community will enable synergies in relation to inward direct investment and export promotion, where African value- added products are concerned,” said Magwanishe.
He added that the SA government has developed workable action plans with sectoral areas to upscale Africa’s industrialisation capacity in order to increase the production of value-added products for exports.
“These sectoral areas are in the sphere of agriculture, clothing and textile, technology, mining and the Blue economy to mention a few. As part of developing an industrial economy, South Africa is committed to a coordinated strategy to boost intra-Africa trade; and build an integrated market in Africa to the approximate value of US$2.6 trillion. This value is certainly measured from the capacity that the African market contains Therefore, to achieve this targeted value, we must consider and strengthen partnerships like the ASEAN community that are available to equitable co-operation and strategic value chains.” said Magwanishe.
He added that as per SA’s subscription to the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063, the country recognises regional integration, as a critical component of the continent’s efforts to ensure sustainable economic and inclusive growth.
“Therefore, our threads of partnership with the ASEAN community should ensure that more formal Institutional links, technical co-operation, the protection of regional stability and trade relations on the basis of reciprocity.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.