SA, UAE reinforce trade relations

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa and the United Arab Emirates have strengthened their trade relations by signing several Memorandums of Understanding.

Speaking at the event in Pretoria on Friday, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane said South Africa valued its relationship with the UAE, which is considered to be an important partner in the Middle East.

UAE is South Africa's 24th largest export market with exports more to the country more than those to countries such as Brazil, Canada and Russia.

"I would like to believe that this relationship is mutually beneficial as more than one hundred South African companies with representative offices in the UAE make a valuable contribution to the development of the UAE's economy," said Nkoana Mashabane.

UAE's recently won the bid to host the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In 2002, South Africa's exports to UAE were estimated at close to R2 billion and imports from the UAE being over R2.4 billion.