Aramex, the Middle East’s largest courier company, has completed the acquisition of South Africa logistics firm Berco Express for an undisclosed amount, the company said Monday. The deal is part of Aramex’s strategy to expand into fast-growing emerging markets and comes weeks after the signing of a joint venture with SinoAir in China. Berco Express operates 15 branches in South Africa and employs more than 700 people, Aramex said in an emailed statement. The acquisition is “in line with our long-term strategy to strengthen our presence in key emerging markets around the world,” CEO Fadi Ghandour said in the statement. Aramex plans to expand further across South Africa by opening new offices and warehouses. The Dubai-based company in October posted a three percent rise in third quarter profits to AED48m ($13m) as high oil prices and Arab unrest weighed on its growth. The company was forced to suspend its operations in Egypt during the uprising in January, taking a toll on business, said Ghandour. \"Our operations are experiencing a slowdown due to uncertainties in Egypt and other markets, which has affected business and trade across the whole region,” he said. The logistics firm said it expects to announce new acquisitions in Central Asia and Africa by the first quarter of 2012. The company acquired Ireland-based liner agent and freight forwarder Aquaship Agencies in February, and Kenyan courier companies OneWorld and In-Time in the first quarter.