M a r k e t N e w s

Qatar, South Africa eye stronger ties in food, retail

Posted on : Friday, 23rd September 2016

 Discussions are being held between South Africa and several Qatari organisations in the food and retail industry due to growing demand for South African livestock and other consumer products, ambassador Sa’ad Cachalia has said. 

Cachalia noted that demand for South African goods is growing in Qatar. These include biscuits, juices, and meat.
“We’ve been having discussions with Hassad Food and we’re going to see Mawashi (Widam) because there’s a keen interest in South African livestock. We are going to meet with them to try and see how we can bring live animals to Qatar.
“South Africa is slowly elbowing itself into the Qatari lifestyle, whether it’s about culture, economics, tourism, or business… interest in South Africa in the areas of trade and food security is also increasing,” Cachalia told Gulf Times in an interview.
The ambassador stressed that South Africa is “very ready” to deal with issues on food security and ways to export manufactured consumer goods as well as live animals to Qatar.
“Qatar needs to look at how to get its food when its own conditions are not conducive to farming. We must increase cooperation and perhaps Qatar must look at Africa and particularly in South Africa because we are very stable in our financial sector in terms of governance,” he pointed out.
Cachalia also encouraged Qatar to grow its food in South Africa and invest in the country’s agricultural sector. Conversely, he suggested the possibility of setting up food manufacturing plants and feed lots inside Qatar’s economic zones.
More than two weeks ago, the embassy held talks with Mega Mart, which is looking at importing more goods from South Africa such as spices, juices, biscuits, and pickled foodstuff, including live, fresh, and frozen, meat.
“We are optimistic to see trade between South Africa and Qatar increase as more of our goods are coming into the country,” he said.
While major companies like Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) and Doha Bank operating in South Africa, Cachalia said other potential investors from Qatar include Salam Stores and Abu Issa Group.
“South Africa is open to everybody, and we have also been discussing with major retail players like LuLu and Mega Mart but we’d like to see Carrefour as well. Spinneys and Al Meera are already keeping a lot of our goods,” he said.
Bilateral trade reaches $439mn in 2015
Trade between Qatar and South Africa has reached $439mn in 2015, said ambassador Sa’ad Cachalia.
South African exports to Qatar stood at $39,749, 539, while South African imports from Qatar reached $400,005,144 last year, the ambassador said.
Aside from fast growing trade between the two countries, Cachalia noted that the new Hamad Port will open “a whole range of opportunities” for Qatar because of accessibility and ease of trade.
He said using gas to power South Africa’s electricity grid “is an area that we could discuss with Qatar.”
“It is possible for a gas-generating plant to feed into our national grid. South Africa is a developing country and some of our people don’t have electricity yet and this is one of the big issues that we have to deal with.
“It can also work both ways because Qatar can use South Africa as a conduit into Africa in terms of supplying gas. South Africa has over 2,000km of coastline and gas is shipped to the docks,” he said.

Source : www.gulf-times.com
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