South Africa’s leather goods took centre stage at a virtual outward selling mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and the greater Middle East region this week.
Speaking during the event, director of export promotion and marketing responsible for the Middle East at the department of trade, industry and competition (the dtic), Thulani Mpetsheni, said South Africa was committed to growing trade with the region.
The executive director of the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (Saflec), Nerisha Jairaj, said with over 180 manufacturers of footwear, leather and leather goods, South Africa was able to offer a competitive option.
In 2019, total bilateral trade with the region was valued at R159.7 billion. The UAE accounted for R54.7 billion and Saudi Arabia for R58.8 billion. The UAE represented 34.2% of total trade compared to Saudi Arabia’s 36.8%.
More specifically, South Africa’s total trade with the region of raw hides and skins, leather and fur skins amounted to R100 million in 2019. The UAE accounted for 12.5% and Saudi Arabia 1.7% respectively.
South Africa’s total trade with the region of footwear, headgear, umbrellas, prepared feathers and related articles amounted to R58.8 million. Of this total, the UAE accounted for 14.5% and Saudi Arabia 1.9%.