Russia-South Africa trade has strong potential for development - official

17.11.2016

Russia and South Africa have strong potential for the development of bilateral trade, Russia’s trade representative in the South African Republic Maxim Bureyev told TASS on Wednesday.

Russia and South Africa have strong potential for the development of bilateral trade, Russia’s trade representative in the South African Republic Maxim Bureyev told TASS on Wednesday.

Russia’s trade representative made this statement at the 14th session of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) between South Africa and Russia that opened in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The session participants will discuss ways of increasing bilateral trade between the two members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping of leading emerging market economies, which dropped by almost 14 percent in 2015.

"There is serious but yet untapped potential for the development of bilateral trade, as well as objective economic conditions, which the sides should implement in the immediate future," Bureyev said.

"The 14th session of the ITEC is expected to agree on specific plans of action to expedite implementation of existing commitments within all the sectors of ITEC, including trade, investment and banking; mineral resources; energy; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; transport; science, technology and space; water resources; and education and justice," the South African Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Bilateral trade declined by 13.8 percent last year to $841.4 million, with exports falling by 4.1 percent and imports by 17.9 percent amid the deteriorating market situation and problems in the economic development of both countries, including the depreciation of the national currencies.

"Both sides are developing a number of initiatives for the stable growth of trade. The business circles’ mutual interest inspires confidence that the evolving negative trend in bilateral trade will be reversed," Russia’s trade representative said.

Russia can increase the deliveries of grain crops and mineral fertilizer, chemical products, machinery and equipment to South Africa, Bureyev said.

The ITEC is co-chaired by Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

On Russia’s behalf, the session is being attended by representatives of the Natural Resources Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry, the Industry and Trade Ministry, the Education Ministry, the state civil nuclear power corporation Rosatom, state hi-tech corporation Rostec, Vnesheconombank national development corporation, the companies Renova, Rosgeologiya, the aircraft manufacturer Irkut, the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Group, the metals giant Norilsk Nickel and others.


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