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Thursday, 5 April 1984
Page: 1349

(Question No. 681)


Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 5 March 1984:

(1) What is the total value of trade between Australia and South Africa.

(2) What are the major imports and exports.

(3) Has the Government considered ways of reducing this trade in the light of the continued apartheid policy of that Government.


Senator Walsh —The Minister for Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The total value of Australia/South Africa trade was $229.4m in 1982/83 made up of $144.5m of exports and $84.9m of imports.

(2) The major imports and exports in $ million in 1982/83 were as follows:

Imports- Fish, fresh, chilled or frozen 11.1 Fish, dried salted or in brine; smoked fish 5.1 Textile yarn 3.8 Other crude minerals 3.5 Fertilisers, manufactured 3.4 Pig iron, et cetera 3.3 Glass 2.7 Inorganic chemical elements, et cetera 2.6

Exports- Parts and accessories for motor vehicles 9.5 Crustaceans and molluscs fresh, chilled or frozen 7.5 Internal combustion piston engines and parts 7.2 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, et cetera 7.3 Animal oils and fats 6 .5 Crude vegetable materials, nes 4.2 Agricultural machinery and parts 3.6

(3) The honourable senator will be aware that the Government has expressed total opposition to the apartheid policies of the South African Government. The Government will also continue to co-operate in moves in international fora designed to bring pressure on South Africa to end apartheid. The Government would support comprehensive economic sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council and implemented by South Africa's major trading partners. In the meantime, in the absence of international obligations to the contrary, the Government's policy is to permit normal commercial relations to continue but without avoidable official assistance. Consistent with this policy, trade is permitted to continue but there is no government promotion of trade with or investment in South Africa.