SA invests R3bn in UAE Pretoria – South Africa has invested R3.33 billion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2003, making the country the 19th largest investor in the UAE.
Speaking at the SA-UAE Business Forum held in Dubai on Sunday, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said the largest investments were made in the financial services sector, followed by investments in the communications and pharmaceutical sectors.
“The largest majority of the investments were made in Dubai and the rest were made in Abu Dhabi,” Davies said.
The business forum is set to firm up relations between the two countries and continue discussions to establish a roadmap for mutual investment.
Davies said that last year, UAE was ranked as the six largest source of imports in the Middle East region, excluding Turkey. However, he noted that the UAE is the 24th largest investor in South Africa.
“UAE have invested a total of R 1.07 billion since 2003, representing 0.25 percent of total capital investment in South Africa. Investments have been made in the real estate, business services, transportation and warehousing and storage sectors,” he said, adding that all of the investments made were sourced from Dubai.
Davies also announced that the South African government, through the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has proposed a protocol agreement to the UAE for the direct export of horses from South Africa to UAE.
“Due to instances of African Horse Sickness in South Africa, horses have been exported via Europe to UAE. This is a non-tariff trade barrier and also very costly for SA exporters.
“Horses have to go via Europe for quarantine, before [they are] allowed into the UAE and we hope to turn around the situation once our proposed protocol has been accepted by the UAE authorities.
” South African Ambassador to the UAE, Yacoob Abba Omar, noted that the UAE remains the country’s largest trade partner in the region, with total bilateral trade equalling almost $2 billion.
“We have seen that there continues to be strong avenues for growth between South Africa and our close trading partner the UAE, with which we hold a special economic, social and political relationship,” said Omar.
Senior Director of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Atiq Juma Nassib, said there is great potential for new business opportunities between Dubai and South Africa across a variety of industry sectors.
The forum was also part of President Jacob Zuma’s official state visit in the Middle East Region.
Source: – BuaNews – 14 Nov 2011