South Africa is Baden-Wuerttemberg's most important African trading partner, the German state's Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing, Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, said ahead of a visit to SA and Ethiopia this week.
For her Africa is a continent of opportunity of increasing strategic importance for Baden-Wuerttemberg.
She will especially focus on environmental technology and the automotive industry during her visit and is accompanied by a 35-member delegation, which includes representatives of companies and business organisations.
Currently, around 100 Baden-Wuerttemberg companies are already active in South Africa and the country is considered a stepping-stone into the entire African market.
In 2018, goods worth about €1.3bn were exported from Baden-Wuerttemberg to South Africa, mostly motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts (about 51%)) and machinery (around 18%).
The most important goods SA exports to Baden-Wuerttemberg are also motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts (around 58%), followed by machines (around 21%).
"Africa offers enormous investment potential, which is still not being seized enough by Baden-Wuerttemberg companies. At the same time, a cooperation offers great opportunities for Africa to promote jobs and prosperity and to promote the continent in key issues of the future – whether it be in the field of digitisation, environmental technology or innovation," said Hoffmeister-Kraut.
With their political modernisation, reform efforts and an established middle class, South Africa and Ethiopia in particular are among the countries, which a study commissioned by her department has identified as particularly promising.
"South Africa is considered an economic and political locomotive for the continent," said the minister.
"The political situation has changed; the country is on a course of stability and on a good way to stem corruption. It is therefore exactly the right time for this trip."
* Compiled by Carin Smith