SA, Indonesia revive trade links

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. DIRCO
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. DIRCO

Pretoria - South Africa and Indonesia have agreed to renew efforts to increase bilateral trade and cooperation.

This emerged on Monday after talks between International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Indonesian counterpart, Minister Retno Marsudi, in Cape Town.

Minister Marsudi, who is on a working visit to South Africa, is accompanied by a business delegation, with the aim of strengthening economic cooperation with their South African counterparts.

“The two Ministers discussed the need to reinvigorate bilateral cooperation between the two countries and agreed that South Africa will host the 2nd SA-Indonesia Joint Commission Meeting this year on a mutually agreed date,” South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said.

Indonesia presents a significant potential market for South African products.

In 2015, the total volume of bilateral trade between South Africa and Indonesia was R11.7 billion, with R2.8 billion exports from South Africa and R8.9 billion imports from Indonesia.

South Africa's major exports to Indonesia include chemical wood pulp, ferrous waste, iron ore, aluminium, fruit and mechanical appliances.

On the multilateral front, South Africa and Indonesia are active members of the G20, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and G77 plus China, where they work together closely to promote the ideals of South-South cooperation.

They are also both founding members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which comprises 21 coastal states of the Indian Ocean.

As such, the two Ministers discussed the upcoming IORA Leaders' Summit scheduled for 7 March 2017 in Jakarta, as well as South Africa’s preparedness for the next IORA Council of Ministers Meeting.

With South Africa serving as vice chair of IORA from 2017 to 2019, it will host the next IORA Council of Ministers Meeting in Durban later this year.

While in Cape Town, Minister Marsudi will also pay a courtesy call on President Zuma. - SAnews.gov.za