Local companies have been urged to look for trade opportunities in the Russian market.
Minister Plenipotentiary at the South Africa Embassy in Russia, Henry Short, on Monday told the South African business delegation, which is currently participating in the 2017 World Food Moscow International Exhibition, to search for potential trade opportunities.
The 20-member business delegation is participating in the exhibition which kicked off today. The Department of Trade and Industry's Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) facilitated the delegation's participation in the exhibition. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.
Short said the sanctions that Russia has imposed on fresh produce imports from the European Union, the United States and a number of other countries until the end of December 2018 present an opportunity for South African businesses. He said the businesspeople must take advantage of the good trade relations between South Africa and Russia.
"The bilateral relations between South Africa and Russia are good. Our investment and participation in this international exhibition is evidence of this effect. South Africa, being the chair of BRICS from 2018 and hosting the 10th BRICS Summit in 2018, will present an opportunity for South Africa and Russia to further deepen their relations as both are members of BRICS," Short said.
The objective of South Africa's participation in the exhibition is to promote South Africa's agro-processing and wine industries in order to consolidate and expand market presence of South Africa in Russia.
The companies will from today tantalise the taste buds of more than 28 000 trade visitors, who are expected to attend the exhibitions.
The exhibition, which will run until Thursday, is an annual event held in Moscow and it is an ideal platform for South Africa to showcase the country's products to a significant number of wholesalers, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs.
Total trade between South Africa and Russia increased from R5 billion in 2012 to almost R8 billion in 2016. Major South African exports include fruits and nuts, manganese ores, beverages, spirits and vinegar, wine, electrical machinery and equipment.