(MENAFN - The Peninsula)
Doha: Trade between Qatar and South Africa in fresh foods has grown significantly despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ambassador of South Africa to Qatar, H E Faizel Moosa, said during the launch of the Carrefour, South Africa Fresh Meat and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable week.
'Our vegetable export from South Africa to Qatar has increased by 145 percent between 2019 and 2020. For meat products, we have recorded 237 percent (meat and livestock). Generally, the trade between Qatar and South Africa increased by 150 percent between 2019 and 2020.
'Last year was better than 2019 despite the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing lock-down globally. However, people have to eat. With the restrictions, the food industry was one of the few critical industries that were open, and we saw a remarkable increase in export of food to Qatar specifically, Ambassador Moosa said.
Meanwhile, the Carrefour, South Africa, Fresh Meat, and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable week aim to promote South African agro-processed products in the Qatari market on a sustainable basis.
The ambassador said Carrefour had been importing on a very low scale from South Africa, but it has now increased its import so that South African products can have almost a permanent presence in Carrefour stores.
The envoy stressed that there are plans to broaden the product range because the management believes that South Africa offers good value products, good quality products, and affordable prices.
The South African products include plums, peaches, pineapples, grapes, oranges, beef, South African biltong, and mutton.
The South African envoy said there are plans to negotiate with Qatar Airways to increase its cargo aircraft operations to facilitate more goods.
'We are sharing an aircraft with Kenya now, so there is not enough space. We are in talks with the Qatar Airways cargo section to see if we can increase flights' frequency. We want to increase the range and the quantity. We will try to fly in different products depending on the season, he added.
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