Trade between South Africa and Brazil growing
South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane undertook a Working Visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil on 30 July 2013.
In Brazil, the Minister co-chaired the Fifth Session of the South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission with her Brazilian counterpart, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.
The Joint Commission is a structured mechanism to manage and monitor bilateral relations between the two countries.
The South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission reviewed progress made in the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries over the past few years, as well as explored new avenues aimed at consolidating and strengthening political and economic relations between the two countries.
South Africa and Brazil enjoy strong bilateral relations as symbolised by high level visits and various Agreements signed across a number of sectors since 1994. The relationship between the two countries is also underpinned by a common desire to influence the global agenda in the 21st century in a manner that reflects the aspirations of developing countries.
At a bilateral level, the key sectoral areas of cooperation include trade and industry, science and technology, agriculture and rural development, arts and culture, defence, education and skills development, health, arts and culture, tourism, and environmental affairs.
Brazil remains South Africa's largest trading partner in Latin America. Trade between South African and Brazil has seen steady growth in recent years. However exports to Brazil still represent a small percentage of South Africa’s global exports. South Africa’s top five exports to Brazil include anthracite (coal), precious metals, plastics, aluminium and car engines. The top 5 imports from Brazil include vehicles, meat, sweets and confectionaries, machinery and ore.
On the investment front, Brazil is a latent global foreign investor, with the majority of its investments having been directed toward resource extraction (mining, oil and gas) and construction. Investment into South Africa in the manufacturing sector is still very low but with growing potential.