South Africa to Strengthen Economic Ties With Saudi Arabia

South African President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-level delegation on a state visit to Saudi Arabia, and a working visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to promote bilateral ties, the Presidency said on Friday.


Zuma’s visit to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for Sunday, will serve as an important structural catalyst to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations, in particular, by strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade and investment and in support of expanding cultural and people-to-people interaction between the two countries, the Presidency said in a statement.


This will be the third presidential visit to Saudi Arabia following the first state visit by the late former president Nelson Mandela in 1997, and a working visit by former President Thabo Mbeki in 2007.

In March this year, Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power announced a 15 billion rand (about 1 billion U.S.dollar) investment in a solar plant project in the town of Groblershoop in Northern Cape, with the capacity to power more than 200,000 households.

Zuma’s visit to the UAE will take place on Monday. South Africa and the UAE enjoy strong bond of friendship and strategic bilateral relations, said the statement.

The visit is aimed at consolidating the solid and cordial political and economic relations, in particular in the commercial, trade and investment sectors, as well as people-to-people and cultural interaction, including the promotion of South Africa as a top global tourism destination for visitors from the Gulf region,it said.

This year, South Africa will host the second SA-UAE Joint Commission to measure progress in targeted sectors of the bilateral relationship, and to manage and direct the implementation of mutually agreed upon bilateral programs.

Total trade between the two countries increased 800 million dollars in 2011 to 1.7 billion dollars in 2015, according to the statement. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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