Dubai Chamber reinforces strong bilateral ties with SA during latest trade mission

JOHANNESBURG – The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry today concluded a series of high level public and private sector events as part of a programme to explore business and investment opportunities across Africa.

The mission forms part of the Africa Global Business Forum (AGBF) road show, launched by the Chamber in 2013 that will visit several major African cities this year. It is now one of the leading events for investment in Africa with over 1,300 representatives from 50 countries attending the last forum.

South Africa is one of the top 35 global trading partners to Dubai, making the country a key market for investment opportunities, for Dubai Chamber initiatives. Dubai’s non-oil trade with South Africa grew from $1.5 billion in 2010 to $2.3 billion in 2015, registering over 50% growth and signifying the level of business and investment potential in the country. There are currently 106 South African companies registered with Dubai Chamber and operate in Dubai.

“The main objective of the mission was to reinforce Dubai’s already strong bilateral ties with South Africa and the continent. We consider Africa a strategic investment destination, a view that is firmly shared by our government,” said H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber.

The trade mission provided direct access to the latest business and investment opportunities in South Africa, and facilitated a platform for high level Dubai based delegates to discuss areas of mutual interest and potential joint ventures.

The Dubai Chamber was one of the first to recognise the potential of the African continent and initially explored investment opportunities in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. Over 12,000 African companies are registered with Dubai Chamber, and 23% of new Dubai Chamber members in Q1 2016 are from Africa.

The Chairman cited abundant resources and a strong labour force as key drivers for international expansion and investment.

HE Hamad Hared Alhabsi, Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Republic of Angola and the Republic of Namibia said “It is time for us to speed up the establishment of the Joint Business Council proposed by the UAE in 2010 as well as to finalise the legislation on the protection of investments to attract investment for the mutual benefit of both our friendly countries.”

“The AGBF brings together a multitude of international decision makers interested in unlocking the potential of Africa’s business and investment climate. I call on all South African businesses to take advantage of this platform of opportunity by participating in the forum”, said the Chairman.

Since its inception in 2013, the African Global Business Forum (AGBF) launched by Dubai Chamber has provided the ideal platform for mutual investment between Africa and the world through Dubai. The Dubai Chamber trade mission in South Africa will enjoy the traction and support of the AGBF as key business decision makers attend a public sector roundtable on Tuesday, May 3rd, and a private sector focus group as well as chamber to chamber discussions on Wednesday, May 4th. Site visits around the city will also be conducted as part of the mission.

AGBF was launched by Dubai Chamber in 2013, with the inaugural AGBF held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The forum was initiated as a platform to engage key leaders from various governments and multinationals to support economic development and explore new investment opportunities in Africa.