Posted: August 1, 2019
Minister Patel Engages With German Businesses
|The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, was hosted by the German Ambassador to South Africa, Dr Martin Schäfer last night in Pretoria. The event gave the Minister Patel an opportunity to engage in open dialogue with the local leadership of significant German businesses based in South Africa and representatives of the German-Southern African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The engagement focused on the economic ties between Germany and South Africa, and the opportunities to work together in fostering deeper, more inclusive growth. In 2018, Germany and South Africa traded R215 billion worth of merchandise, representing one of the most important trading relationships for South Africa. Exports of South African goods to Germany has more than doubled since 2014, and the trade gap between the two countries continues to narrow. It is estimated that the more than 400 companies established by German investors has created approximately 100 000 direct jobs in South Africa.
According to Patel, the conversation touched on a number of topics including opportunities for the development of partnerships in new technologies, and insights into both the world-class vocational training system in Germany and corporate governance models including the German worker ownership and participation model.
“Our economic and cultural relationship with Germany is important for South Africa. German-owned companies have played an important role in helping to develop key industries like the automotive industry. In fact, cars assembled in South Africa, many of them by German marques, represent our largest export to Germany. Open and constructive discussions like this give us an opportunity to develop ways to deepen this relationship so that we can expand our markets and create real, inclusive growth and jobs.”, noted Minister Patel.
German Ambassador Dr Martin Schäfer said trade ties between Germany and South Africa are strong.
“German companies – from large car manufacturers to specialized engineering firms- are active players in South Africa. They are not only here to make a quick buck. They strive to contribute to the social transformation of South Africa: by creating jobs, by investing in training, local value chains and economic transformation, by being responsible corporate citizens. We are looking forward to building on these strong partnerships, expanding our cooperation in crucial fields such as vocational training – to help build sustainable, inclusive growth in South Africa,” added Ambassador Schäfer.