Trade between South Africa and Poland grew from R2.6 billion in 2006 to R6.3 billion in 2012.
Imports from Poland increased from R1.3 billion in 2006 to R4.6 billion in 2012. South African companies have shown considerable interest in the Polish economy, with significant investments in Poland’s beverages, paper, furniture, manufacturing/retail and distribution sectors, including media and communications, amongst others.
A number of Polish companies are investing and exploring investment opportunities in the aviation, cosmetics, glassware, hospitality, heavy industrial equipment, mining and pharmaceutical sectors.
But at least one minister believes the numbers could be increased tremendously, considering Poland’s solid economic position in Europe.
“There is still more we can do to promote trade. From our point of view, our interest is promoting more South African exports to Poland,” said South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
“One of the issues and challenges that we face is establishing proper transport logistics and proper shipping line connections because at the moment, too many of our products are dependent on middlemen in other countries.
“We think that also business-to-business contacts are very important. So this agreement that we have sighed today gives us an institutional structured way of enhancing our cooperation,” said Davies.
He said two other agreements will be signed between the investment promotion and development finance institutions from both countries to build stronger trade and investment cooperation.