Export to & Import from South Africa

South Africa, the largest and most advanced economy in Africa combines a well-developed infrastructure with vibrant emerging markets and considerable consumer spending power.
Since the end of Apartheid in 1994, South Africa has been politically stable and focused on market-oriented economic policies, including free trade agreements with the European Union.

South Africa was officially accepted into the BRIC(Brazil, Russia, India & China) club in 2010, but is generally grouped in with the CIVETS ( six favoured emerging markets countries – Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa)emerging markets. According to the World Bank, South Africa is the easiest of all these countries with which to do business.Although South Africa was not immune to the effects of the global recession, structural reforms have since increased the economy’s diversification to boost future resilience. As a result, South Africa is not solely maximising its tourism industry and natural resources – it is the world’s largest producer of key metals including platinum and manganese – but also expanding its financial and business services sectors. South African consumers have a very positive view of ‘Brand Britain’, thus offering considerable opportunities for British businesses to market their products.

The UK is in South Africa’s ‘Premier League’ of trading partners, with over £9.6 billion in bilateral trade – a figure which the two countries’ governments are determined to double by the end of this year.

The UK and South Africa have similar business cultures, supported by strong historic connections, a common language and similar legal and financial systems. this, combined with South Africa’s strategic geographic location, makes the country an ideal gateway for British businesses looking to expand their trade in Africa overall.


Exports from South Africa US$100.7 billion (2012 est.)
Export commodities: Gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Top Export Destinations: Canada, UK, Australia, USA, Angola, Namibia, Kenya, Germany, Netherlands.
Imports into South Africa US$105 billion (2012 est.)
Import commodities: Machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs.
Top Import Origins: Germany, UK, Belgium, USA, Netherlands, China, Sweden, Hong Kong

If you are looking to Export to or Import from South Africa, let us know as we have a very good trade link with South Africa

Sources: GOV.UK, UKTI, The World Bank, McKinsey Global Institute