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South Africa trade with Saudi Arabia ‘on upward trend’

Saudi Arabia, October 2, 2018

RIYADH — South Africa Embassy, in collaboration with Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, held South African medical devices and food products at International Trade and Investment Seminar here on Sunday.

South Africa Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Rob Davies spoke to Saudi Gazette, and said: “From a trade perspective, total trade between our two countries which reached R55.5 billion in 2017, is back on an upward trend after the commodities price slump in 2015.”

“South Africa primarily imports predominantly crude oil from Saudi Arabia, while our exports comprise mainly of vegetables, chemicals and machinery.”

“On the investment front, as you are well aware, President Ramaphosa has set a target to attract $100 billion in the next 5 years. We believe that it is an attainable plan especially when we consider the caliber of business partners such as Saudi Arabia and the $10 billion commitment already pledged by our Saudi friends. It provides us with a sense of optimism and we are of the view that within this gathering today, we will be able to augment the investment pledge and grow our investment portfolio,” Dr. Davies said.

Chairman of the board of Riyadh Chamber Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, secretary general of Riyadh Chamber Ahmed Alswailm, Themba ambassador of South Africa to Riyadh Rubushe, South Africa Consul General at Jeddah Shoayb Casoo, and Saudi and South African businessmen attended the seminar.

The South African medical devices manufacturing sector include disposable syringes and scalpel blades; wheelchairs, specialized furniture, hospital beds, dentist chairs, operating tables, surgical implants and stents, electronic monitoring and diagnostics equipment.

South Africa has become the world’s leading manufacturer and exporter of isotopes of medical diagnostics.

South Africa’s food-processing sector is one of the largest manufacturing sectors by employment. It has a diverse range of final goods and products such as confectionary, fruit juices, indigenous teas and fruits, which are present in Middle East markets.