South Africa (SA) should explore its food-processing export market in BRICS countries, an official with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has said.
DTI minister Rob Davies said significant opportunities for SA food-processing exports exist in BRICS countries, the African continent and the Middle East region. He appealed to the SA food-processors to actively develop new products and packaging for fully exploiting the market opportunities in these countries and regions. DTI has invested over 700 million Rands (about 99 million U. S. dollars) in the food-processing sector incentives over the past three years, the Davies said on Saturday as he addressed representatives from the food-processing sector in the country. Over the years DTI has supported the food-processing sector through the investment initiatives and cooperative schemes, the minister said. He also mentioned that two major projects in food-processing with the value of 1.1 billion rands (about 14 million U.S. dollars) have recently been approved.
The minister said that the recently-announced Special Economic Zones (SEZ) program offers important opportunities for farmers to assist the government to undertake long-term planning. “This will help to reduce infrastructure and logistics costs and locate food-processing investments in regions, including rural areas, where economic sustainability can be developed,” said the minister. He told the gathering that South Africa is paying particular attention to the issue of food standards for purposes of compliance with export markets as well as using standards to curb the influx of inferior imports.