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PRETORIA, South Africa, March 5, 2018/ — Twenty-eight South African companies will showcase their products and services at the Foodex Trade Fair in Chiba City, Japan from 6-9 March 2018. The companies received financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) to participate in the trade fair as part of the department’s commitment towards increasing trade and investment relations between South Africa and the Japan.

Foodex 2018 will display a full range of food and beverage products from around the world. The annual exhibition is Asia’s largest, dedicated to food and beverage sectors across Japan and the whole world. Over the four days of the exhibition, thousands of buyers from food service, distribution, and trading companies attend. Some of the products to be showcased by South African exporters will include bottled wine, mixed herbs and spices, olive oils, canned fruit and vegetables, nuts, fruit juices, dried fruit, rooibos tea and sauces.

The fair affords South African exporters with an opportunity to promote a broader food and beverage sector with a view of establishing a more prominent market presence and reputation for South Africa’s agro-processing sector in the Japanese market.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe, the trade fair will expose South African companies to available trade and investment opportunities and highlight their products and services in order to gain access to the multi-billion-rand Asian food and beverage market. It will also be an excellent platform to promote existing and potential exporters to new customers in different sectors from around the world.

“Japan has a more diversified economy and has invested significantly in productive sectors which sustain their high levels of productivity as well as the development of new knowledge and technology. These present opportunities for South Africa and Japan to collaborate with a view to increasing trade and investment, capacity building, and exchange of expertise,” says Magwanishe.

He adds that South Africa’s participation in the trade fair will have a positive impact in terms of increasing export sales from the South African agro-processing industry, particularly the food and beverage sector. This is in alignment with the country’s industrialisation programme and the Integrated National Export Strategy.

Japan is among the largest economies in the world and traditionally one of South Africa’s key established trading partners in the world. Two-way trade between South Africa and Japan was valued at R93.2 billion in 2017, with a trade balance amounting to R17.8 billion in favour of South Africa. South Africa exported goods worth above R55.5 billion, whereas, it imported goods worth R37.7 billion.

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