Sep 04, 2018: The second secretary and consul for the Philippine embassy in Pretoria, Joselito Jacinto has announced that the logistics links South Africa and the Philippines need to be strengthened in order to promote trade.

He opined that the business between both the countries was curving upwards, but could be stronger if the freight sector worked harder to overcome trade lane obstacles.

“The distance between our countries is the biggest impediment to stronger trade, but we are confident that as imports and exports between our countries improve we will start seeing an improvement in freight between the Philippines and South Africa.”

South Africa being the preferred access point for the Philippines into sub-Saharan Africa and trade routes via Dubai, entry points like Durban represent the main artery of commerce linking the Philippines with the continent.

“South Africa is our biggest trading partner in Africa and we are keen to develop even stronger relations, particularly with the view of leveraging off the strategic position of South Africa in relation to SADC markets,” he added.

And yet despite the Philippines exporting $199m worth of products to South Africa last year, the government of Rodrigo Duterte believes it could be much stronger.

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