Johannesburg - Political relations between South Africa
and Saudi Arabia are strong, however, economic and trade ties need to be
reviewed, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
"The next important step is to enhance bilateral
trade, investment flows, the identification of targeted areas of collaboration
and to address impediments in this respect as well as the implementation of a
mutually agreed upon framework to enhance economic, trade and investment
co-operation," he said during a state visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
This included collaboration in skills and technology
transfers, strengthening of trade institutions and co-operation between the
governments and the private sectors of South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Zuma identified some targeted sectors which had high
potential to expand South Africa-Saudi Arabia trade, economic and investment
These included petrochemical gas exploration and
alternative energy sectors; mining management and technologies, mining
equipment and minerals mapping and beneficiation; the automotive industry and
manufacturing; chemicals, medical and pharmaceuticals sector; infrastructure
development, construction, engineering and transport sectors; financial,
banking and insurance sectors and defence procurement and partnerships.
Zuma was speaking at the South Africa-Saudi Arabian
On investment, the president said South Africa was
regarded globally as a "strategic and competitive destination for foreign
"South Africa remains in the top 30 economies
"Given the diverse nature of our economy, the South
Africa of today is one of the most promising emerging markets globally,"
A combination of a highly-developed first-world economic
infrastructure and a big emerging market has given rise to a strong
entrepreneurial and dynamic investment environment.
"In addition, the South African government has
achieved significant success in ensuring macro-economic stability via the
implementation of policies directed at promoting domestic competitiveness,
growth and employment," said Zuma.
Zuma discussed government's five key priority areas, the
presidential nine-point plan and the National Development Plan.
This he said all corresponded with Saudi Arabia's
national transformation plans, which provided many opportunities for bilateral
"Opportunities for mutual partnerships between our
two countries are almost limitless," he said.