Sunday 01, October 2017 by Jessica Combes

UAE remains South Africa’s top trade partner in the region

 

As business links between South Africa and the UAE continue to grow across a number of core sectors, Brand South Africa and the South African Business Council UAE hosted an event on 28 September 2017 at the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi under the theme “The Role of SA Business in Promoting the Nation Brand”. 

This meeting was attended by HE Ambassador Mpetjane Lekgoro, the South African Ambassador in the UAE and senior South African business executives of industries based in the UAE. The leading professionals from firms across various industries shared their views on investing in emerging markets, addressing opportunities and challenges, and the role governments play to facilitate such trade flows. 

“I hope that this food festival will contribute to an increase in agricultural exports from South Africa to the UAE and in so doing, strengthen economic ties between the two countries. In this regard, the Embassy stands ready to provide assistance to UAE companies interested in doing business in and with South Africa,” said Ambassador Lekgoro. 

The United Arab Emirates and South Africa are seeking to strengthen their existing partnership, with the UAE currently being the 24th largest market for South African products. In this regard, the South African Embassy, together with the DTI, partnered with Lulu’s supermarket group, to showcase uniquely South African products and brands at its shop in Mushriff shopping mall in Abu Dhabi. As part South African heritage day celebrations, the promotion campaign ran from 27 September to 30 September 2017.

“The UAE remains South Africa’s largest trade partner in the region. Fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) to the UAE dominate South Africa’s exports, and we are seeing a particular increase in machinery and metal related products exports to this region. Given the fact that there are more than 100 South African companies that have representative offices in the UAE, Brand South Africa is committed to working with companies and investors to understand their businesses, assist them in their further expansion, in order to enhance South Africa’s reputation in the UAE,” said Dr. Judy Smith-Höhn, General Manager, for Global Markets at Brand South Africa. 

Sithembile Ntombela, General Manager of Marketing for Brand South Africa added that the UAE has become one of South Africa’s main, if not the, main importing partner within the GCC, and several South African companies have benefited from opportunities that this has created across various sectors. Diaspora communities play an important role in positively shaping the image of the nation brand and are key advocates for our country internationally. Hence, Brand South Africa’s partnership with the South African Business Council in the UAE aims to work with the South African diaspora to further develop business links between the two countries.

 

  

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