President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Friday depart South Africa for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a State Visit to take place on 15 – 16 October 2022.
President Ramaphosa’s visit is at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness (HRH) King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
According to the Presidency, the President will be hosted by HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud.
Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Saudi Arabia were formalised in 1994, with four of South Africa’s democratically elected Presidents having visited the Kingdom to date.
The late President Nelson Mandela visited the Kingdom in 1998; President Thabo Mbeki visited in 2007; President Jacob Zuma visited in 2016 and President Cyril Ramaphosa visited in 2018.
The Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enjoy a strategic bilateral partnership based on cordial and fraternal relations.
“The discussions would focus on export market opportunities for South African produce and on South Africa as an investment destination, as well as an entry point into Southern Africa and beyond, within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“It is envisioned that the various deliberations will provide renewed impetus to strengthened economic cooperation in identified priority sectors, notably agriculture, defence, energy, and transport, further underpinned by regular high-level engagements between the two countries,” the Presidency said.
The recent 9th Session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Council, held from 3 – 4 October 2022, launched the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council.
The Joint Business Council brings together leading business people from both countries to deepen economic ties as Saudi Arabia is the largest source of imports from the Middle East region.
Total bilateral trade between South Africa and Saudi Arabia amounted to R66 billion in 2021.
While on the State Visit, President Ramaphosa will also participate in high-level business engagements with leading businesspersons, as well as institutional and private investors.
“In this regard, the President will deliver the closing remarks at the Saudi Arabia – South Africa Investment Forum and participate in Saudi Arabia – South Africa Investment Roundtable.
“The high-level meetings will also afford the leaders an opportunity to discuss bilateral, continental and global issues, and to reaffirm their commitment to further cooperate closely on multilateral issues,” the Presidency said.
President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Ministers Naledi Pandor, Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza; Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.