President Cyril Ramaphosa says the export of South African products to markets in other countries has a lasting effect on the fight against unemployment in the country.
He was speaking at the opening of a Lulu Hypermarket in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during an official State Visit to the country.
Lulu Hypermarket is an international chain which sells South African products in its Saudi Arabian store.
The President said the 500 South African products that are being sold at the hypermarket make an impact on the lives of those exporting the products.
“[These products] create jobs in South Africa by those workers who produce this product. But they also create jobs in Saudi Arabia, by those who package them, who repackage them, who present them, and who sell them. So that, in my view, is the smartest of all partnerships that you can ever get. And we should applaud everyone who is involved,” he said.
President Ramaphosa highlighted that bringing South African products to other parts of the world means that other cultures can also enjoy and become knowledgeable about the South African way of life.
“I’m really pleased that you’re bringing in ordinary products from South Africa and some products are quite iconic with us, with our culture, with our way of life.
“For instance, you are bringing in charcoal, being one of those products that we use for braaing…which is a very special South African activity over weekends where people relax with their friends and families. We are glad that we are spreading this culture also here in Saudi Arabia, and in the Middle East,” President Ramaphosa said.
He added, however, that although South African fresh products are being exported to Saudi Arabia, more work is being done to unlock the meat market.
“We are working with the Saudi government to unlock the protocols for our meat products. And I saw a shelf space there that is currently empty, waiting for the meat to come from South Africa.
“We look forward to having meat from South Africa being on your shelves. Soon, consumers in Saudi Arabia will be able to put South African meat on their charcoal and create salads and other accompaniments that we saw on the shelves and enjoy typical South African food in the way that we do it in South Africa – with a braai,” President Ramaphosa said.