GERMAN EXPORTS SET TO ESCALATE
SOUTH AFRICA’S EXPORTS to Germany increased by 21% to Ð3,7bn (R34,6bn) in the first 11 months of 2006 compared with Ð3bn (R28bn) the year before, says Matthias Boddenberg, CE of the SA-German Chamber of Trade and Industry (SAGC).
Even more satisfying was the swing away from raw material exports to manufactured and semi-finished goods.
“SA’s investment in sophisticated manufacturing machinery is now paying off, and the potential, measured in euros, to grow at an annual rate of 10% in the next few years, is there,” says Boddenberg. “Measured in rand terms it will be more, due to the local currency’s volatility.”
Another reason for Germany’s and South Africa’s statistics not reflecting the same growth rate is the difference between their financial years. SA’s statistics reflect financial years ending 31 March, and in Germany the calendar year is the financial year.
A situation has arisen where the German balance of trade, which had been rising steadily year-on-year in Germany’s favour, is now stable at around Ð3bn (R28bn). German exports to SA in 2005 were valued at Ð6,1bn (R57bn). They rose to Ð6,65bn (R62 bn) last year.
The only obstacle Boddenberg foresaw was the outcome of negotiations, centred on the abolition by the EU of trade tariffs.
SA’s investment in sophisticated manufacturing machinery is now paying off. Matthias Boddenberg