Zuma sings SA's praises to Saudi businessmen

Mar 27 2016 15:00
Genevieve Quintal, News24

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 relations.

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 Business Seminar.

On investment, the president said South Africa was regarded globally as a "strategic and competitive destination for foreign investors".

"South Africa remains in the top 30 economies globally.

"Given the diverse nature of our economy, the South Africa of today is one of the most promising emerging markets globally," he said.

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 co-operation.

"Opportunities for mutual partnerships between our two countries are almost limitless," he said.

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jacob zuma  |  saudi arabia  |  economy



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