South Africa is hub of trade activity and Dubai is keen to strengthen trade relations across various South African industries, a top government official said. Eng Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports, stressed on the numerous opportunities between the UAE and South Africa, as well as the wide range of support services and financial aid through the Export Assistance Programme that encourage local exporters to widen the scope of their businesses outside the UAE.
There are strong and historical trading ties between the UAE and South Africa. In 2010, the total value of Dubai direct exports to the country was estimated at Dh219 million. The key export sectors include plastics and polyesters, facial tissues and sanitary paper towels, glass products, gold, chocolate and cocoa preparations, perfumes and cosmetics, and lubricants and base oils.
“South Africa is a hub of trade activity, with much untapped potential that is not limited to the food manufacturing industries. As a prominent emerging market for Dubai products, Dubai Exports is keen on cultivating stronger ties with the South African region to the effect of mutual gains,” Eng Al Awadi said.
Dubai Exports is an agency of the Department of Economic Development – Government of Dubai. It hosted its largest delegation at Africa’s Big Seven exhibition held in Johannesburg last month, with small and large UAE-based companies in the food and beverage and packaging industries. The delegation was also joined by government organisations such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone, or JAFZA, who sought trade opportunities for their member companies across the South African continent.
An annual event, Africa’s Big Seven amalgamates the seven components of food production, including the various processes and technologies employed in transportation, packaging, marketing and lastly, retail. Dubai Exports, together with the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Trade, or MoFT, provided exporters with support services to bolster the success of their new partnerships made at the exhibition. Prior to the event, all the participating companies and organisations participated in an extensive briefing session with experts from the continent. In addition, the delegation received market insights from Euromonitor.
Among the companies participated at Africa’s Big Seven were the MoFT, Dubai Exports, JAFZA, Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone Authority, Pure Ice Creams LLC, Diamond Meat Processing, Falcon Pack, DoFreeze, Palletco, Integrated Plastic Packaging, Al Foah Dates, General Holding Company, Dubai Refreshments and National Food Products.