600 Lillian Ngoyi, Berea Park
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International Trade Promotions


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About Us



The objectives are to improve international market access, fair trading conditions and increase the competitiveness of South African agricultural producers, processors and exporters of all categories through participating in trade negotiations and implementation of trade agreements, trade research and trade intelligence. The directorate works closely with the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic). It is responsible for Agricultural input into the trade policy.


The functions that enable the directorate to achieve its objectives are:

  • Advice on, develop and implement policies that improve access for South African agricultural products to international markets.
  • Negotiate favourable and fair-trading conditions for South African agricultural product traders in bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements.
  • Provide policy advice and trade-related information to the Minister, departmental management.
  • Undertake trade research and provide trade information to the agriculture sector.
  • Undertake training and capacity building on market analysis.
  • Represent South Africa in international trade-related organizations and forums.


SA Agricultural exports by destination (2022)



These functions are organised among the following five sub-directorates:

Sub-directorate: Bilateral Trade Relations - Africa

The Africa Desk is responsible for South Africa’s trade relations with other African countries, individually and through regional economic communities (RECs) such as the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC) and others. Working with the dtic, SARS, National Treasury and DIRCO, the UNIT participates in trade negotiations (e.g., AfCFTA and Tripartite FTA negotiations) to protect and advance the interests of the sector. It further monitors the implementation of the SACU and the SADC FTA Agreements. The UNIT also monitors agricultural trade flows with the Continent and develops and implements trade strategies that contribute to broadening regional integration, the South African trade presence in Africa as well as to the development of Africa, in line with the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development programme of NEPAD.


Sub-directorate Bilateral Trade Relations- Americas, Oceania and Asia

The Desk monitors and analyse trade policies of countries in the mentioned geographical area. It further participates in trade negotiations/engagements with the countries in the mentioned geographical area The desk was involved and concluded an trade agreement between SACU and  MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), which are close to be implemented in the near future  It is currently engaged together with the department of trade and industry in exploring trade negotiations between SACU and India with the aim of gaining improved market for  value added agricultural products.


Sub-directorate Bilateral Trade Relations- Europe, Russia and the Middle east

The Sub-directorate Bilateral Trade Relations - Europe, Russia and Middle East, also known as Europe Desk, is responsible for South Africa’s agricultural trade relations with Europe, Russia and Middle East countries, individually and through Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as the European Union-27, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the United Kingdom (UK)region. The Desk has been very instrumental during negotiations of all these free trade agreements South Africa has with Europe, Russia and Middle East countries and is currently engaged in facilitating implementation of such free trade agreements. South Africa currently has three free trade agreements with Europe, Russia and Middle East countries, namely SADC-EU EPA, SACU-EFTA FTA and SACUM-UK EPA. The Desk is also involved in the review of the SADC-EU EPA as well as the SACU-EFTA FTA.


SA Agricultural exports (2022)


 Sub-directorate Multilateral Trade Relations

The Multilateral Desk implement South Africa’s rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization agreements related to agriculture in collaboration with other directorates in DALRRD and the Department of trade industry and Competition. Participate in some work related to trade of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and work of the International Grains Council (IGC), and other multilateral organizations with the focus on agricultural trade policy. It participates in the agricultural negotiations of the WTO Doha Development Round of negotiations in collaboration with the department of trade and industry. In this regard it engages with various alliance partners to work towards an equitable world trading system for agriculture with the focus on development.


Sub-directorate Trade Research

The Trade Research Desk is responsible for monitoring and analysing trade in agriculture products for optimizing the benefits of trade to the sector. It identifies the export constraints of the agricultural sector and advises the Minister and management and the industry. Its key functions are:

  • Trade policy review and advocacy to develop trade strategies.
  • Facilitating the availability of databases and models to assess trade potential and the impact of trade agreements on the sector and national economy.
  • Trade potential analysis, market research, trade intelligence and information to support and promote the exports of agricultural products.
  • Leveraging trade promotion support for agriculture based on the research outputs.
  • The Desk utilises advanced international techniques in trade analysis and facilitates national capacity building in these techniques among economists and trade analysis.


SA Agricultural imports and exports 2022




For information regarding trade in agricultural products please, contact the Directorate International Trade Promotions at:

+ 27 12 319 7291

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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