Trade Minister Tim Groser today welcomed a joint New Zealand/South Africa study of trade trends between New Zealand and South Africa.

Hon Rob Davies, South African Minister for Trade & Industry, and Mr Groser announced the study results at a meeting in Stellenbosch.

“This study shines a light on our trading relationship with South Africa. It underlines the ease and value of that trading relationship, but there is potential to increase our current modest levels of trade” Mr Groser says.

Trade between New Zealand and South Africa was worth NZ$359 million in 2010. New Zealand’s number one export to South Africa in recent years has been coal, while its major imports from South Africa have been motor vehicles and paper.

These merchandise trade statistics do not, however, reflect the diversity and potential of trade and investment links between New Zealand and South Africa. Fonterra, for example, operates a joint venture with South African dairy company Clover Industries, while the film District 9 was filmed in South Africa and sent for post-production in New Zealand

“We are working together to take advantage of opportunities identified in the study, including creating a platform for stronger engagement between government, business and community organisations.”

New Zealand has very strong and positive connections with South Africa, not least through sport. New Zealand hosted close to 10,000 South African supporters during the Rugby World Cup, and a further 50,000 or more South Africans now reside in New Zealand, some of whom are actively looking to generate stronger connections with their former home.

Recent highlights in the bilateral relationship included a visit to New Zealand last month by South Africans Deputy President Motlanthe, Trade Minister Davies and an accompanying business delegation, as well as the signing of a Film Co-Production Agreement by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson and the South African Minister for Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile.

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