The companies’ participation has been funded by the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme.
The scheme aims to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.
Gulfood is regarded as the largest food and beverage trade exhibition in the Middle East. It attracts a large number of participants from the Middle East and the world at large.
Gulfood 2023 will showcase food and beverage products from around the world. South Africa will participate in the Fine Food Pavilion, which will be showcasing agro-processing products and services, as well as in the beverages hall.
The Middle East continues to experience a population growth, translating into increasing opportunities for the agro-processing sector, with a market demand of $3t.
According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola, South Africa’s participation is expected to positively influence export sales from the South African agri-food industry, food retail and value-added agro-processing products.
In 2020, export sales generated by the South African companies at Gulfood were worth more than R221m.
“The show is expected to expose South African companies to available opportunities in the UAE, as well as creating awareness for South African products in the Middle East in general.
“South Africa’s participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, which was part of our efforts to revive the economy and create opportunities for inclusive growth, paved a way for more trade opportunities like the Gulfood, which offers a follow-through opportunity for South African firms,” Majola said.
The UAE remains the main destination for South African goods, as reflected by consistent increase of exports.
Over the past 10 years, SA’s exports to the UAE grew by 20.87% to reach R33.73bn in 2021, from R8.50bn in 2012.
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