South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Monday begins a two-day visit to Germany where she is set to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination of choice to Bavarian businesses.

The foreign minister is undertaking a working visit to Munich she where she will also co-chair the ninth South Africa-Germany Bi-National Commission session.

“The potential to grow trade and investment relations between South Africa and Bavaria is considered to be immense,” the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) said in a statement here Sunday.

The Minister will meet with high-level business people as well as the Bavarian Minister of European Affairs and Regional Relations, Beate Merk. Bavaria is the largest of the 16 federal states in Germany.

“It is a strategic economic hub and the second wealthiest region in Germany, with the state’s GDP (gross domestic product) amounting to 549.2 billion euros 2015, meaning that Bavaria surpasses 19 of the 28 EU countries’ economies,” the statement said.

“The Bavarian economic output per resident is above the German and European averages, making Bavaria one of the markets with the highest levels of purchasing power in the world.”

Bavaria is one of South Africa’s big trading partners. It is the headquarters of multinational corporations such as BMW, Audi, Adidas, Puma, Siemens, Munich Re, Allianz, Bosch Global Security, Kuka and MAN.

The total volume of trade in 2015 between Bavaria and South Africa was 1.6 billion euros, while in 2015, exports from South Africa to Bavaria were 461 million euros, an increase of 4.4 per cent over 2014.