Eleven South African defence industry (SADI) companies will be in the Middle Eastern emirate Abu Dhabi next week (20 to 24 February) with Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) support, for IDEX 2023.
They are participating in the Defence Exhibition and Conference by way of an export marketing and investment assistance (EMIA) scheme operated and managed by Minister Ebrahim Patel’s department. Its major objectives are to develop export markets for South African products and services as well as recruit new foreign direct investment (FDI), a statement has it.
IDEX is the only international trade show in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region showcasing the latest technologies in the land, sea and air sectors of defence, again, according to the dtic statement. The 15th IDEX in 2021 brought more than 62 000 visitors and 900 exhibitors from sixty countries to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Deputy dtic Minister Nomalungelo Gina maintains IDEX is a platform and opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments and businesses in the Middle East.
“The South African aerospace and defence companies we are assisting to participate manufacture products related to the defence industry. This is part of our efforts to support the recovery and further development of the defence industry by assisting companies to access international markets. The exhibition will provide South African companies with opportunities to sign new deals, explore new partnerships and stay up-to-date with the latest market trends,” Gina said, according to the statement.
She adds South African companies will be in “a good location” to attract potential buyers, distributors and agents. “They will be able to gather trade leads, as well as trade and investment market intelligence to increase their knowledge of the MENA market.
“The Middle East 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.”
The dtic seeks to support South African manufacturers through participation at IDEX and contribute to a competitive export industry, a key focus area of the country’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan (ERRP), the statement said.
South African companies at IDEX 2023 include Denel, DCD Protected Mobility, Etion Create, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, Imperial Armour, Mega Control Systems, MOH-9 Armour Ceramics, Radel, RapidM, RationTech, Redeployable Camp Systems SA, Reutech, Rippel Effect, Shrike Marine, SME Exports, Unipro, Zabra Protection and industry representative body AMD.