“Trade between the two countries have been growing year on year,” said Mpetjane Lekgoro, Ambassador of South Africa to the UAE, at the business seminar organised by the South African Consulate General in Dubai. About 15 companies from South Africa participated in the seminar along with businesses from the UAE who attended the B2B meetings event.
“Minerals, chemical products, automotive, food and pharmaceuticals are some of the main sectors for growth. Expo 2020 opens a window of opportunity for South African businesses mainly small and medium enterprises to do business in the country. A seminar such as this is the step in the right direction,” the ambassador said.
“Bilateral economic relations are well developed and movement of goods, people and services are increasing annually,” added Sake van der Wal, Consul (Economic), South African Consulate General – Dubai.
“The total trade figure of Dh6.04 billion in 2016 is testimony to this. South Africa is increasing its exports of value-added products to the UAE and through the UAE into the bigger Gulf region. There is also a substantial increase in UAE exports to South Africa,” he adds.
New initiatives are constantly being undertaken to broaden the scope of business, trade and investments between the two countries. Sake adds, “There is an ongoing programme of interactions with business people from South Africa and the UAE to increase knowledge of potential business and investment opportunities in the respective countries. Every year, through the Department of Trade and Industry – South Africa, we also take trade delegations from the UAE to visit South Africa for B2B meetings or at trade exhibitions which help trade grow further.”
Elaborating on upcoming projects and/or joint ventures between the UAE and South Africa, he notes: “South Africa participated in about nine exhibitions/seminars this calendar year and is planning more. Few of our regular participations in the UAE are at Gulfood, Automechanika, IDEX and World Future Energy Summit. South Africa is also increasing its participation at international conferences for example on food security, mining technology and alternative energy platforms.”
“Made in South Africa” is a localised label for products manufactured in South Africa to encourage the South African consumer to buy locally manufactured goods.
“The label can be used in the UAE and Middle East market as a sign of high quality products,” he added.
South Africa is actively involved in regional and international platforms on automotive, food, defence and renewable energy. “Recently, we even participated at the Mining Show organised by the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation, and it was highly successful. We are also working on participating at the Global Africa Forum initiative of Dubai Chamber,” Sake noted.
Omar Abdulaziz Khan, Director – International Offices, Dubai Chamber, spoke on Dubai’s economic outlook and prospects.
Top 10 potential products for UAE
Flowers, live plants, agro-processed products, juice, condiments and non-alcoholic beverages, dairy products, automotive components, capital goods and heavy earth moving equipment, medical devices and healthcare equipment products, defence equipment and accessories, value-added meat, poultry, ostrich and related products and energy efficiency and solar products.