JOHANNESBURG – The Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) said on Monday that the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would potentially open additional avenues for South African products to destinations that the country had not previously been exposed to.
Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at Agbiz, said in a note that the African continent would remain an important export market for South Africa’s agricultural sector, given that about 88 percent of South Africa’s agricultural exports currently go to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
“The recently launched AfCFTA would potentially open additional avenues for South African products to destinations where the country hasn't largely participated in the recent past,” Sihlobo said.
“Practically, this would mean an increase in the share of South Africa's agricultural exports to the continent, rather than mainly focusing on growing other well-established markets.”
South Africa recorded a trade surplus of $660 million (R10.08 billion) in the first quarter, up 11 percent from the same period last year.