The South African businesspeople who are in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in two high-profile exhibitions say their proudly South African products are receiving significant interest and are registering good trade leads at both shows.

A business delegation comprising sixteen agro-processing firms is showcasing products in the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, while eleven companies that operate in the defence sector is participating in the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) that is taking place in Abu Dhabi. Both international exhibitions started yesterday and will continue until Friday, 24 February 2023.

The companies’ participation has been made possible by the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic) that has set up national pavilions at the two trade shows where the South African companies are exhibiting their products.

The Managing Director of Cape Town-based Jacobs Jam company, Mr Nigel Jacobs says his company’s products have already recorded interest from countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India, who have shown interest to import the jams. The company manufactures high quality jam products that are sold all over South Africa and Zambia.

The Managing Director of Cape Town based Global Cuisine, Ms Samreen Kumandan says as a company that is growing, participating in the exhibition and showcasing on a global platform will hopefully assist her increase her business footprint soon.

“The show is offering an opportunity to make connections with distributors and buyers in the UAE and the global market. It is exciting to exhibit the company’s delicious savoury snacks, which is a common food in the UAE. We are receiving promising leads and will be following up on them so they can translate into business transactions,” says Kumandan.

The Sales and Marketing Manager of Unipro Protective Wear, Ms Mpho Mankge says the first day of IDEX was a real eye opener for her as she is participating in an international exhibition outside South Africa for the first time.

“Our products attracted quite a significant amount of interest amongst people from various countries who sought more information about our company and products. We have a promising lead from a company based in Mali and we are already making arrangements for a follow up meeting soon. We have been working hard to break into the export market and it looks like our dream will finally become a reality as a result of being here,” adds an elated Mankge.

The Business Development Director of Shrike Marine, Ms Rhi Cuthrie expressed happiness that her company’s vehicle power management systems were catching the eyes of directors of many other companies that are also exhibiting other products at IDEX.

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. IDEX is the only international trade show in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region showcasing the latest technologies in land, sea and air sectors of defence.

The UAE remains the main destination for South African goods in the region, as reflected by the consistent increase of exports. Over the past 10 years, SA’s exports to the UAE grew from R8.6 billion in 2012 to R34 billion in 2021.

The Managing Director of Cape Town-based Global Cuisine, Ms Samreen Kumandan showcasing at the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai.

The Sales and Marketing Manager of Unipro Protective Wear, Ms Mpho Mankge chats to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Thandi Modise during her visit to the SA companies exhibiting at IDEX in Abu Dhabi, while the company’s Warehouse Supervisor, Mr Ziyanda Thwala looks on.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)

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