Africa’s Big 7 is an annual business exhibition, which was attended by approximately 3,500 businesspersons from 37 countries this year. The participants belonged to the food and beverage, catering, retail, hospitality, sports, and textile industries.
Chargé d’affaires of the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria Victor Josef Sambuaga said that Indonesian products must continue to be promoted in South Africa to enhance trade relations between the two countries.
However, Indonesian product penetration in the markets of South Africa and neighboring countries is facing challenges due to high tariffs, he pointed out. This is different from Europe and neighboring countries, which impose lower tariffs.
“The South African government has imposed a relatively high tariff of 0–30 percent on food products,” he noted, according to a statement received in Jakarta from the Indonesia Embassy in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Head of the Indonesia Trade Promotion Center in Johannesburg, Tonny Hendriawan, said that Indonesia’s trade with South Africa in the 2020–2022 period showed a positive trend, although during the January–April 2023 period, trade tended to stagnate.
He informed that the total trade between the two countries increased by 60.6 percent from US$1.3 billion in 2020 to US$3.25 billion in 2022. The value of exports also increased by 38.07 percent from US$572 million in 2020 to US$1.1 billion in 2022.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s exports to South Africa in the January–April 2023 period were relatively lower at US$294.4 million compared to the same period in 2022, when they were pegged at US$330 million.
In general, the trade balance between Indonesia and South Africa in the January–April 2023 reached US$554 million.
Hendriawan explained that Indonesia’s exports of processed food products to South Africa in the last two years still need to be optimized because the value is still below the market potential that could be achieved.
In 2021, the value reached US$429 thousand, while in 2022, it was recorded at US$320 thousand.
Meanwhile, the export value of beverage products rose 37 percent from US$22,900 in 2021 to US$31,500 in 2022.
There are many challenges to increasing the penetration of Indonesian products, but it is hoped that the products will have the opportunity and potential to enter the South African market, he said.
He further said he hoped that the Indonesian products showcased at Africa’s Big 7 exhibition would contribute to increasing Indonesia’s market share, as well as provide business opportunities for market expansion in South Africa.
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