Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul met with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during her visit to Thailand on September 2-4, in order to strengthen economic partnership between the 2 countries. South Africa is the biggest market for Thailand in African region, while Thailand is the number 1 market for South Africa in the South East Asian region. The total trade value between the two sides accounts to over 3.5 billion US dollars per annum.
During the meeting, the South African Foreign Minister invited Thai entrepreneurs to invest in infrastructure business in South Africa, such as the mining and telecommunication industries. Meanwhile, Mr. Surapong in return asked South Africa to reduce trade barriers, especially on imported agricultural products as Thailand is looking to penetrate mangosteen market in South Africa.
Additionally, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to visit South Africa in the first quarter of 2013, while South African President will pay Thailand a visit later on at the end of 2013.