South Africa has welcomed the vote of confidence shown by Germany's continued investment in the South African economy.

Speaking at the German National Day celebrations in Waterkloof, Tshwane, the Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, said South Africa enjoyed a robust and growing trade relationship with the European powerhouse.

In 2016, Germany moved up to second place as the largest global export market for South African goods and remained South Africa's second-largest import market, cementing Germany's position as South Africa's second-largest global trading partner overall.

"Clearly, we are doing things right, as total merchandised trade between our countries increased by 20,3% last year, with South Africa having managed to narrow its trade deficit with Germany by almost 8%," Minister Dlodlo told those at the jovial celebrations.

Over 600 German companies are present in South Africa, sustaining approximately 100 000 direct jobs.

"We warmly welcome the continued vote of confidence by leading German companies to expand their investments in South Africa. We look forward to even further improvement in this regard, and remain available to assist potential German investors in developing further investment opportunities in our country through our various investment promotion initiatives," said Minister Dlodlo.

The two countries are making steady progress in their bilateral relations as they continue to enhance the historically close relationship.

South Africa and Germany have over the years cultivated an extensive relationship across many areas of interaction and cooperation. In 2016, the countries reaffirmed their strategic partnership through the successful Ninth Bi-National Commission (BNC) meeting.

At the meeting held in Berlin in November, under the co-chairpersonship of International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and former German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, issues such as global developments and increased focus on youth employment were discussed.

Cooperation in the fields of science and technology, the environment and energy, among others, was also discussed.

"We hope to give further impetus to this relationship during the BNC mid-term review later this year, and we look forward to hosting the 10th BNC in Pretoria in November 2018," Minister Dlodlo said. V Source: SAnews.gov.za