International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is scheduled to undertake a Working Visit to Munich, Bavaria, on 14-15 November 2016, before proceeding to Berlin to co-chair the 9th SA-Germany Bi-National Commission.
The working visit to the Free State of Bavaria (Bavaria) provides an opportunity to further promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination of choice to Bavarian business. During her stay in Munich, the Minister will meet with high-level business people as well as the Bavarian Minister of European Affairs and Regional Relations, Dr. Beate Merk.
Bavaria is the largest of the 16 German federal states in Germany. It is a strategic economic hub and the second wealthiest region in Germany, with the state’s GDP amounting to €549.2 billion in 2015, meaning that Bavaria surpasses 19 of the 28 EU countries’ economies. The Bavarian economic output per resident is above the German and European averages, making Bavaria one of the markets with the highest levels of purchasing power in the world.
As a region, Bavaria is one of South Africa’s big trading partners. Bavaria is the headquarters of multinational corporations such as BMW, AUDI, Adidas, Puma, Siemens, Munich Re, Allianz, Bosch Global Security, Kuka and MAN.
The total volume of trade in 2015 between Bavaria and South Africa was €1,6 billion. In 2015, imports from South Africa to Bavaria were €461 million (an increase of 4, 4% in comparison to 2014), while exports were €1.1 billion, an increase of 1,5%.
BMW invested R6 billion in South Africa in 2015 after awarding a contract to its plant in Pretoria for the production of the new generation BMW modest cars (X3) for the domestic and export markets.
Other significant partnerships between South Africa and Bavaria include the signing of the Sister Airports Agreement between Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and Munich Airport Group, wherein both partners have jointly agreed on areas of strategic cooperation and information sharing. The partnership is Bavaria’s first agreement with an airport operator on the African continent.
The potential to grow trade and investment relations between South Africa and Bavaria is considered to be immense.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.