A virtual exhibition to promote South Africa’s industrial capabilities and position South African companies that manufacture footwear and leather products as suppliers of choice to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will take place on July 7.
The exhibition will be hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), in collaboration with the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (Saflec) and the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.
Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola reports that 31 South African footwear and leather manufacturing companies will showcase their products at this event, which is expected to be attended by about 100 buyers from the greater Middle East region, as well as the African continent.
He says the UAE and Saudi Arabia remain strategic and important trading partners in the Middle East region. “We are therefore committed to further strengthening bilateral economic relations with these two key partners and other countries in the greater Middle East region.”
Majola adds that the DTIC is mandated to promote South African value added goods, and services through strategic mechanisms such as these, in targeted high-growth markets.
Saflec executive director Nerisha Jairaj says that amid the barriers of the Covid-19 pandemic, the South African footwear and leather industry has pivoted through virtual platforms since April last year to continue with the trade promotions of the sector.
“. . . hosting our continental events on a specialised platform . . . boasts 360o view of products and will give the buyers attending the trade show a feeling that they so crave. There is no reason for us to always be followers in the global arena, we can also take the lead, like we have done with this virtual event,” she says.