Agro-Processing is key in unlocking Middle East market

The South African Consul General to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr David Magabe says agro-processing is the key in unlocking export opportunities for businesses that want to tap into the Middle East market. Magabe was speaking at the South Africa’s exhibition stand at the Gulfood Fair in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The UAE and the Middle East in general have always been a good market for South Africa in terms of export opportunities. The UAE is looking at increasing its volume of imports from countries that they are trading, and South Africa is well-positioned to supply agricultural products covering the entire agro-processing value-chain,” said Magabe.

According to Magabe, vegetables and agro-processing products are the third most imported products from South Africa and constituted 12.17% share of UAE’s total imports.  He reiterated said South Africa has the capacity to produce enough in order to supply the UAE market.

“I will urge South African entrepreneurs and emerging farmers to make use of this opportunities and engage government on the support they offer particularly to new companies that are keen on exporting into these markets,” said Magabe.

He added that platforms like the Gulfood Trade Fair where there are more than 120 countries are represented, will give South Africa’s businesses an opportunity to network and look for exports opportunities beyond the Gulf countries.

South Africa’s exports to UAE grew from R11.7 billion in 2013 to R23.5 billion in 2017.

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