UAE delegation to Africa’s Big Seven Exhibition
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT) in cooperation with the Dubai Export Development Corporation successfully led a delegation of over 30 governmental departments, free zones and private businesses that took part under the UAE pavilion at Africa’s Big Seven Exhibition, which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from July 17 to 19, 2011. The event proved to be a major success for the UAE delegation, with the country’s pavilion generating an overwhelming response from visitors who were keen on getting a better understanding of the various UAE products and services showcased at the event, in addition to the trade and investment opportunities that the country presents. The UAE pavilion was inaugurated by H.E. Abdul Razak Hadi, Acting UAE Ambassador to South Africa.
The UAE’s participation at Africa’s Big Seven Exhibition was part of the MoFT’s strategy to support small and medium enterprises in the UAE to penetrate new markets in the African continent, particularly in South Africa, a key trading partner whose trade volumes with the UAE witnessed a 21.7 per cent growth to reach over USD 1 billion in 2010 from USD 878.3 million in 2009. Moreover, the MoFT has stepped up its focus on promoting UAE companies abroad –especially in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong – as part of its strategic plans for the fourth quarter of 2011.
The UAE delegation comprised several companies and authorities, including Dubai Export Development Corporation, Jebel Ali Free Zone, RAK Free Trade Zone, Hamriyah Free Zone, Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar), General Holding Corporation, Palletco, Pure Ice Cream Co Ltd, Diamond Meat Processing, Falcon Packaging Factory, Dubai Refreshments, DoFreeze, Integrated Plastics Packaging, in addition to the National Food Products Company. A dinner party was held on Saturday, July 16 2011, in honour of the UAE delegation, which was attended by delegation members and officials from the UAE Embassy in South Africa.
Mohammed Hamdan, MoFT’s Director of Trade Promotion UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, said: “South Africa has been a key trade partner of the UAE as manifested by the growing trade volume between the two countries. Import levels have achieved a healthy growth rate, which highlights the importance of South Africa as a key supplier of a number of commodities. More importantly, South Africa offers enormous export potential for UAE manufacturers, particularly small and medium enterprises looking for lucrative export destinations for locally produced goods and services. In addition, we are also looking forward to encourage South African investors to take advantage of investment opportunities being offered in the UAE, especially through specialized economic zones that cater to a diverse range of industries.”
“The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade was therefore committed to further strengthen our trade relations with South Africa through our participation in high-profile trade events such as the Africa’s Big Seven Exhibition. This was an excellent opportunity to create optimum exposure for UAE companies in South Africa, while providing the perfect platform to conduct business-to-business meetings and other high-level discussions that will ultimately enhance trade activities between the two countries,” added Hamdan.
The UAE’s total exports to South Africa in 2010 reached USD 92.4 million, while imports were valued at USD 899.6 million.
The only event of its kind in the continent, Africa’s Big Seven Expo presents a combination of seven separate but co-located events that define the various stages and specific technologies required to move produce from the field through the processing, packaging and marketing phases eventually culminating in retail sales in Africa – a market with 725 million consumers. Africa’s store of oil and mineral resources and packaging equipment and related technology as well as finished products for retail sale, provide massive business opportunities.