If India and China -- as Asia's leading agricultural importers -- are to be areas of focus for South Africa's export-led growth in agriculture, then a new way of engagement will be essential to soften the current barriers to trade.
South Africa's trade policy is underpinned by an export-led growth strategy. This means the country essentially wants to grow its economy by deepening and expanding its export markets.
Such efforts can be seen through South Africa's participation in trade negotiations which seek to increase market access with traditional trading partners such as the European Union (EU) and penetrate new markets in Africa through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The focus on these two key regions comes as no surprise since they represent a significant portion of South Africa's export revenue, specifically in the case of the agricultural sector. More than two-thirds of South Africa's agricultural exports are concentrated within the African continent and the European Union (EU).
More recently, Asia and the Far East (particularly India and China) have become a key growth frontier that present South Africa with new opportunities to expand its exports. Overall, Asia has accounted for a quarter of South Africa's agricultural exports, with...