South Africa's economic development, trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel and German ambassador Martin Schäfer with members of German business community. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Germany looks forward to building on its existing strong partnerships with South Africa and expanding cooperation in crucial fields such as vocational training to help build sustainable, inclusive growth, ambassador Martin Schäfer has said.

At an event in which he hosted economic development, trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel in Pretoria, Schäfer said German companies from large car manufacturers to specialized engineering firms were not only in South Africa "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," he said.

"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."

In 2018, the two countries traded R215 billion worth of merchandise, representing one of the most important trading relationships for South Africa.

Exports of South African goods to Germany have more than doubled since 2014 and the trade gap between the two countries continues to narrow. Estimates show that the more than 400 companies established by German investors have created approximately 100,000 direct jobs in 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," Patel said.

"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."

- African News Agency (ANA)