South Africa Eyes Saudi Arabia As Major Agricultural Export Market

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News in Brief:
– South Africa sees Saudi Arabia, with its massive agricultural imports, as a strategic export market.
– Minister Thoko Didiza met with a Saudi delegation to discuss strengthening trade and investment ties, aiming to boost production and exports of livestock, sugar, and grains.

South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has stressed the strategic importance of Saudi Arabia as a potential export market for South African agricultural products.

This was disclosed during a meeting with a Saudi Arabian delegation led by the Kingdom’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen A. AlFadley.

Didiza highlighted the vast import market of Saudi Arabia, which purchases around US$20 billion worth of agricultural products annually.

The visit aimed to strengthen agricultural trade and investment ties between the two countries, with a focus on increasing food security globally. Industry representatives from Saudi Arabia interested in livestock, sugar, and grains were also part of the delegation.

Tracing bilateral relations and mutual benefits

Minister Didiza pointed to the recently agreed-upon protocol for red meat exports to Saudi Arabia. She noted that this is a positive step and stressed the need for South Africa to increase domestic production of key commodities such as livestock, sugar, and grains. This aligns with the country’s ambitious plans to expand agricultural production on underutilised land and become a major exporter in the coming years.

Furthermore, Didiza expressed optimism about the potential for a fruitful partnership and deeper trade and investment relations between both nations. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a vital partner in deepening trade for the current and future of all value chains,” she siad.

This development comes against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia, along with other countries, expressing interest in joining the BRICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). Leaders of these nations agreed to expand the BRICS group in January 2024 and potentially opens up new avenues for economic and trade cooperation between member countries.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.


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