File image: IOL

CAPE TOWN - Thailand delegation will land in South Africa this month, for a series of meetings with business partners in Johannesburg and Cape Town. 

Between the two countries, there has been a steady growth in bilateral trade volumes in the recent years. According to Royal Thai Embassy, in 2016, bilateral trade grew to R36 billion from R31 billion in 2015.

The Embassy says the two countries recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote cooperation on investments in the automotive, agro-processing and electronics sectors, and this has given a boost to bilateral trade relations. Thailand is the South Africa's 9th largest trading partner, with over 24 years of diplomatic relations and trade ties.

SA benefits from this relationship as it exports machinery, iron, steel and mineral products for large-scale infrastructure projects in Thailand, while SA imports food and beverage products, automotive parts and accessories, building and construction, furniture, fashion, health and beauty products.

The Minister of the Office of Commercial Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy, Aphirak Paepuang said, “As strategic economic development hubs in their respective regions, Thailand and South Africa have a great deal to offer each-other in terms of bilateral trade and investment; and serve as mutual gateways to new trade regions". 

It is beleived that the automotive sector, an area in which South Africa is particularly keen to expand trade ties, will also be represented during the upcoming trade mission.