Amid global economic growth and expanding international co-operation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is emerging as a major player in the global trade arena, with its economic status rising to new heights.
In this renewed context, the African market is an important destination for Saudi non-oil exports, as economic opportunities are evident and promising trade ties are growing.
The value of the export of non-oil Saudi goods to the African continent during the past five years (2019 - 2023) surged to more than SAR128 billion ($34.1 billion) with the chemicals and polymers sector topping the list with exports exceeding SAR83 billion ($22 billion), reported SPA.
The construction-materials sector came second on the list with its exports exceeding SAR10 billion followed by the packaging sector with exports of over SAR9 billion. The top exported products were polypropylene, polyethylene, and fertilizers, with Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Morocco, Sudan, Kenya, and Nigeria topping the list of 55 African countries importing Saudi products.
The strategic, commercial, and economic relations between the Kingdom and Africa are deep-rooted and strong, stated the report.
The kingdom is the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa and the fastest-growing Group of Twenty (G20) economy in 2022.
The African continent has immense potential strategically, economically, and in human resources, as it is the second-largest continent in the world in terms of area and population, with an economy worth approximately $3 trillion.
As a result, the Saudi government and the countries of the African Union seek to strengthen and develop these relations in a way that ensures progress and prosperity for all, it added.
To this end, the Saudi Exports Development Authority (Saudi Exports) is taking a serious approach towards the African continent, responding to the needs of its diverse markets and future aspirations.
The authority pays great attention to all aspects to consolidate economic cooperation, enhance Saudi non-oil exports, and deliver Saudi products and services to the promising African market, said the SPA report.
The Saudi Exports employs its efforts and harnesses all its capabilities to deliver national products and services and increase the volume of non-oil exports to African markets through organizing trade missions to African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, and Libya, with the participation of a group of Saudi companies from various sectors in bid to co-ordinate business matching meetings with potential buyers in those markets.
These firms take part in several specialized international exhibitions in the African continent in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Senegal and Nigeria, to help Saudi exporters showcase their products and services and sign commercial deals that expand the scope of their exports.
Among the exhibitions the Saudi Exports intends to participate in this year is the African Food Exhibition 2024, the International Exhibition for Processing and Packaging in the Middle East and Africa 2024 in Egypt, the Buildexpo Africa - Kenya 2024, and Gitex Africa in Morocco, it added.