South Africa and Germany have a long history of bilateral cooperation. Germany is South Africa's second-largest supplier country behind China and the third-strongest consumer country. Vice versa, South Africa is an important trading partner for Germany and ranks 11th among the most important overseas partners, behind India and Brazil.
South Africa is Bavaria’s most important trading partner on the African continent. In 2015, Bavarian exports to South Africa amounted to 1,140 billion euros. This makes South Africa number one among the African countries in the Bavarian foreign trade. Bavarian imports from South Africa amounted to approximately 461 million euros in 2015. 1,077 Bavarian companies currently maintain business relationships in South Africa.
The bilateral trade volume between Germany and South Africa for 2015 rose to a value of 15.5 billion euros. German imports amounted to 5,890.7 million euros, almost 20% more than in the previous year. Main export goods from Germany included vehicles and parts, machines, raw materials, non-metals, and food. German exports in 2015 amounted to 9,647.4 million euros.
About 600 German companies have branch offices located in South Africa and employ more than 90,000 employees. In addition to the established large German companies, many German medium-sized companies have also established themselves in the South African milieu.