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UAE and South Africa Focus on Trade and Investment Possibilities

A delegation of UAE government representatives and business executives, led by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, recently visited South Africa to promote development in vital industries like logistics, food production, tourism, and energy, as well as trade and investment opportunities between the two nations.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi stated that his government is ready to form alliances with countries that share its values in order to spur growth, bolster supply chains, and open up new investment avenues. With 8% of the UAE’s overall non-oil commerce with the continent, South Africa is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner in Africa. According to Dr. Al Zeyoudi, a sub-Saharan African country has the potential to play a significant role in the UAE’s initiatives to increase non-oil trade with the entire continent.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi met with Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, and Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, and held bilateral ministerial meetings during the visit. They talked about ways to improve cooperation, promote private-sector dialogue, establish new joint ventures and programs, and promote economic growth that is profitable to both parties.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi also had a meeting with Barbara Creecy, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, and the Environment, to discuss the difficulties in mitigating climate change, the involvement of the business sector, and the UAE’s hosting of COP28 in November and December, which aims to forge consensus on these important problems internationally.

In response to global concerns, the UAE is making daring moves to rethink its economy, he said. Their goals to hasten economic diversification, produce long-term, sustainable growth, and draw in new types of investment are all centered on trade. He said that they are also at the forefront of a new era in global commerce, promoting multilateralism and breaking new ground in the application of technology to improve access to the system and efficiencies in the global trading system.

Meetings involving business sector representatives from each country were held throughout the tour in an effort to develop and strengthen bilateral relationships. Dr. Al Zeyoudi was present when the UAE power company AMEA, South African energy purchaser Green Co., and Standard Bank signed a contract to finance AMEA’s strategic investments in South Africa, which will assist the country meet its rising electricity demand.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi also had meetings with top South African businesses in the fields of infrastructure, mining, artificial intelligence, IT, agriculture, food security, and renewable energy. He emphasized the special business environment in the United Arab Emirates as well as the market access benefits offered by the NextGenFDI project, such as quick incorporation and licensing, mass visa issuance, and easy access to banking and real estate facilities.

The UAE team next traveled to DP World’s operations office in South Africa, where they received an overview of the company’s role in fostering increased connectivity between Africa and the Gulf, which includes a vast network of ports, container terminals, dry ports, and economic zones.