Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in order to explore the economic potential that the two countries have, both countries make efforts to promote trade through trade exhibitions such as FOODEX. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s finest food products and beverages will come under the spotlight in Japan during the FOODEX exhibition next month.

The 44th FOODEX exhibition taking place from March 5 to 8 is designed as a platform for creating and expanding business opportunities and to introduce information on the latest trends regarding the global food industry.

FOODEX is Asia's largest exhibition dedicated to food and drink. The exhibition takes place over a period of four days and attracts thousands of buyers from the food service value chain, distribution networks, and trading companies from across the Asia region and globally.

The 30 South African businesspeople who are supported by the Department of Trade and Industry will showcase some of the finest South African food products and beverages at the exhibition.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in order to explore the economic potential that the two countries have, both countries make efforts to promote trade through trade exhibitions such as FOODEX, as well as South Africa’s participation in the Tokyo International Conference on Africa's Development (TICAD), and investment missions.

“South Africa is committed to increasing trade and investment with Japan and this is evident with its participation in FOODEX in 2018 where 132 companies visited the South African stand.

“Orders exceeding R30 million were recorded and 310 trade leads were generated. The department also led an investment mission which was in-line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive to attract $100 billion (R1.4 trillion) investments into the South African economy over the period of five years,” he said.

Davies described Japan as a traditional key trading partner to South Africa in the world with the annual total trade of about R90 billion over the past five years      

“During this period of five years, SA’s exports to Japan increased slightly from R54 billion in 2013 to R55 billion in 2017, whereas SA’s imports from Japan declined from R39 billion to R38 billion. South Africa has been enjoying a trade surplus for the past five years. Agricultural trade with Japan amounted to R2.4 billion in 2013, with fluctuations in 2014-2016 and increased significantly to R2.7bn in 2017, emphasising the interest that the Japanese market has in South African products,” Davies added.

African News Agency (ANA)