JOHANNESBURG – The ratification of agreements between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) trade blocs has led to a steady increase in South African exports to Brazil, the country's foreign economic representative to the South American state, Shanaaz Ebrahim has said. 

At the 12th Latin American Defence and Security Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, where the Department of Trade and Industry is hosting a stand, Ebrahim said statistics showed that South Africa’s trade deficit with Brazil had shrunk to $700 million (R9.85 billion) in 2018 from $1.2bn in 2017. 

“This is thanks to the fact that we have increased our exports to Brazil by 37 percent from $483m in 2017 to $663m in 2018,” she said. 

“Part of this was due to the ratification of the Sacu/Mercosur preferential trade agreement ratified in April 2016. Sacu offered Mercosur items of about 1065 products, of which 469 are zero percent import duty free.” Mercosur had reciprocated by offering Sacu 1052 product lines, of which 778 were import duty free. 

African News Agency (ANA)