The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed its commitment to injecting billions of dollars in the South African economy in trade and investment to solidify its place as the country’s largest trading partner in the Arab world.
This as the two countries held their annual SA-UAE Business Forum, this year in Johannesburg, in order to provide UAE-based companies with the knowledge and contacts necessary to do business in South Africa.
The UAE is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the Arab world for non-oil commodities and accounts for 50 percent of the total non-oil foreign trade between the Arab countries and South Africa, amounting to about $3 billion.
During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the UAE in July last year, the country announced a $10 billion investment in infrastructure and enterprise growth within the South African economy over the next few years.
Delivering the keynote adress at the business forum, Undersecretary for UAE Ministry of Economics, His Excellency Abdulla Al Saleh, said they were happy to participate in the South African economy and that they used the forum as a platform to connect with the SA business community and strengthen bilateral economic relations between the two countries.
Al Saleh said that the UAE and South Africa enjoyed an excellent relationship at government-to-government level, and were looking at extending such relations to the business community of the two countries.
“Africa is growing very fast in different sectors, especially infrastructure projects in southern Africa and South Africa is the network and the most advanced economy in the continent,” Al Saleh said.
“With the hub of our trade and investment here, we would like to commit ourselves as a hub in the Arab region with a hub here in Africa for opportunities that exist in South Africa.”
“I would like to mention at this moment a commit by the UAE government to invest and to finance projects here in South Africa to the amount of $10 billion, and that was announced last year during the visit of the president of South Africa to UAE.
“And I’m sure in the coming years you will see a lot of projects that we have invested in.”
– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Lindiz van Zilla