Eleven South African companies that operate in the defence sector will participate in the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) that will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 20-24 February 2023.  The participation of the companies has been made possible by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme to showcase products at the 16th  biennial event. The aim of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

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 15th edition of IDEX held in 2021, brought together more than 62 000 visitors and 900 exhibitors from almost sixty countries.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, IDEX provides a platform and an opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments and businesses in the Middle East.

“The South African Aerospace and Defence companies that we will be assisting to participate in IDEX 2023 manufacture a range of products related to the defence industry. This is part of our efforts to support the recovery and further development of the defence industry in South Africa through assisting companies to access international markets. The show will provide the South African companies with an opportunity to sign new deals, explore new partnerships and stay up-to-date with the latest market trends,” says Gina.

She adds that the companies will also be in a good location to attract potential buyers, distributors and agents. They will also be able to gather trade leads, as well as trade and investment market intelligence in order to increase their knowledge of the UAE market.

“The Middle East has increased its military spending over the past decade, making it a strategic and important market for South Africa’s defence products and services. The UAE is key to South Africa’s export strategy in the region, representing 78.5% (R33.9 billion) of total exports to the Middle East region in 2021. Our bilateral trade increased by 38.11% to reach R61.71 billion in 2021, from R44.68 billion in 2020. The market access support provided to the 11 firms and the greater industry will contribute to increasing the market share in a high-growth market such as the UAE,” explains Gina.

She notes that IDEX 2023 therefore provides an important platform to highlight South Africa’s strong manufacturing and technological capability of the defence industry, whilst increasing value-added exports to the UAE, Middle East region and globally. the dtic seeks to support local South African manufacturers through participation at the event, and to contribute to a competitive export industry, which is a key focus area of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Gina is hopeful that the participation of the SA companies in IDEX 2023 will result in the increase of South Africa’s exports to the UAE and create an awareness of South Africa as a strategic trade partner and competitive investment destination.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
E-mail: BLukhele@thedtic.gov.za
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)

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