20/0./2008 (AllAfrican.com) - South Africa has indicated interest in Nigeria's palm oil. Director, West Africa International Trade and Economic Development Division in the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Mrs. Hester Obisi said during a meeting with officials of Nigerian Export Promotion Council in Abuja that South Africa would procure palm oil from Nigeria to be used as fuel in the generation of power.
"As a result of researches on alternative fuel, there is a huge demand for palm oil in South Africa. The product which serves as biofuel is a good alternative for other sources of energy to power South African local industries," she said.
She said the DTI would want to have sufficient information on "Commerce 44", which entails tax free export on 11 categories each of solid minerals, agricultural products and groups of locally manufactured items to the international markets.
Obisi disclosed that there are lots of prospects for made-in-Nigeria goods and services in South Africa, but added that most of the exports from Nigeria were informal in nature. She pointed out that there was the need for capacity building between both countries with particular emphasis on products in which both countries have comparative advantage.
Acting Executive Director Aliyu Lawal said the Council is making concerted effort to ensure that those involved in informal trade to South Africa as well as other African markets are encouraged to formalize their trade, adding that the Council is more focused now in growing the non-oil export sector in line with the seven-point agenda of President Umaru Yar'adua's administration.
In his contribution, Deputy General Manager (Market and Product Department), NEPC Henry Otowo said that the South African/Nigerian Bi-National Commission (BNO), provides opportunity to discuss issues affecting trade relations between both countries among other platforms.