Overview of Bilateral Trade
South Africa is Taiwan’s 34th largest trading partner and 33rd largest export destination. Bilateral trade between South Africa and Taiwan totaled US$1.57 billion in 2017, which increased by 27.42% compared to 2016. In the first nine months of 2018, South Africa’s exports to Taiwan amounted to US$789 million, up by 8.95% compared to 2016; while Taiwan’s exports to South Africa amounted to US$536 million, increasing by 13.88% year-on-year.
South Africa’s main exports to Taiwan include coal, ferro-alloys, platinum, motor vehicles, maize, copper ores, iron, chemical wood pulp, aluminum and citrus fruits. Taiwan’s main exports to South Africa comprise auto parts, polymers of styrene, plastics, iron and steel products, discs and tapes, screws, bolts and nuts, ITC products, machinery and parts, yarn and fabrics, bicycles and frozen fish.
It is apparent that bilateral trade has become more prosperous over the past two years. South Africa is a gateway to the African market, with the significance of its geographical location not to be underestimated.
Overview of Bilateral Investment
In terms of investment, most Taiwanese businesses in South Africa have established roots there for more than 20 years with most businesses being small and medium-sized enterprises. At present, there are around 800 Taiwanese companies invested in South Africa, with investments totaling around US$2 billion.
Main sectors of investment include auto parts, textiles, plastics, rubber, electronics, medical equipment, green energy, metal products, gemstone processing, decoration items, leather, shoes, furniture, food processing, chemicals, import/export, retailing, jewelry sales, real estate, restaurant, personal financing, tourism, and small-sized supermarkets.
Taiwanese businesses pay their due taxes, treat employees generously, abide by laws, and often contribute to local communities. They have made huge contributions to the economic development of South Africa throughout the years.