SA pears next in line for fruit exports to China

Dr Konanani Liphadzi, CEO of Fruit SA.

South Africa’s fruit export sector is on the verge of adding pears to the list of produce it will be shipping east, Fruit SA CEO Dr Konani Liphadzi has said.

She added that after recent bilateral trade negotiations between the two countries, China would in turn be looking at sending citrus exports to South Africa.

In addition, “there is a sense of renewed urgency for China to then move to our avocados because it’s a crop they want”.

Liphadzi emphasised that past impediments to increasing exports of South African fruit to our biggest trade partner had been overcome thanks to a recent trade visit to Beijing. Chinese delegates also recently visited South Africa for talks with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (Daff).

“The vibe that we got from the Chinese side is that they’re prioritising our issues and I hope that in 2019 access for pears will be granted,” she said.

She also stressed that “the recent change in government has brought an increased appreciation of the value of the fruit sector for the South African economy”.

Liphadzi furthermore noted the importance of finding new markets for South African fruit.

She qualified her view saying non-tariff barriers for South African citrus exported to the EU, such as citrus black spot regulations, had placed significant restriction-related revenue strain on exports to Europe.

“This shows the need to diversify away from a reliance on the European market”.

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