Media Statement: President Ramaphosa departs to international working visits

21 January 2019


President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, 21 January 2019, embarked on two working visits and a state visit that will encompass global discussions on the future of work, global governance and partnership in an age of rapid technological change, and reinforcement of South Africa’s relations with India.


The government and people of the Republic of India will host President Ramaphosa as Chief Guest at India’s 70th Republic Day Celebrations on Saturday, 26 January.


President Ramaphosa will begin his international visits in Geneva, Switzerland, tomorrow, 22 January 2018, in his capacity as Co-Chair – with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven –   of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work.


The Commission will launch its highly anticipated Report On The Future of Work at the ILO headquarters in Geneva tomorrow.


The report lays the foundation for global action on the challenges that governments, business and labour face amid the convergence of developments in the digital economy, climate change and cyclic economic trends.


Following his address to the ILO, President Ramaphosa will travel to Davis-Klosters, Switzerland, where he will lead Team South Africa’s participation in the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled from 22 to 25 January.


The 2019 gathering is themed “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and brings together heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1 000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organisations and relevant non-governmental organisations, and cultural, societal and thought leaders, among others.


The Davos discussions will explore how technological advances are impacting on or giving rise to new systems of health, transportation, communication, production, distribution, and energy, and the changes required in education and other programmes to prepare workers for this economic revolution and accompanying social changes.


The 2019 World Economic Forum is a platform for Team South Africa to engage and update the international community, including investors, on the path of renewal and growth on which the country has embarked.


It is also a platform for South Africa to showcase investment and trade opportunities.


The Forum enables Team South Africa to contribute to global dialogue on key issues facing humanity and to engage on key opportunities that are emerging.


Team South Africa comprises leadership of government, business, labour and civil society at large.


Following the conclusion of the World Economic Forum programme, President Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to New Delhi in the Republic of India for a State Visit on 25 January 2019.


South Africa and India enjoy a Strategic Partnership and bilateral relations anchored by a deep and shared history of friendship and solidarity.


India is currently South Africa’s second largest trading partner in Asia and ranks among South Africa’s top 10 trade partners. In 2017 bilateral trade reached R107 billion (approximately $8 billion).  Trade for the period January to November 2018 totalled R101 billion.


Indian investments in South Africa currently stand at US$8 billion and, have created an estimated 18 000 jobs. There are 130 Indian companies that have invested in South Africa, including TATA (automobiles and hotels), Mahindra (automobiles), Cipla (pharmaceuticals) and the Bank of India. South Africa’s total investment in India increased to R10,3 billion (approximately $800 million) in 2017.


South African companies that have invested in India, include SASOL, FirstRand, Old Mutual, ACSA, Shoprite and Nandos.


President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by a business delegation to further enhance trade relations between the two nations.


South Africa and India share a common vision on a range of global issues and domestic challenges. Many of the common foreign policy objectives which both countries share are pursued multilaterally, especially through South-South initiatives and close cooperation existing within the G20, BRICS, IBSA, and IORA. The two nations will further solidify relations with agreements on Higher Education and Training, Arts and Culture, Home Affairs, Defence and Energy among others to be signed.


Following the January 25 State Visit, President Ramaphosa will be honoured as Chief Guest at India’s 70th Republic Day Celebrations on 26 January 2019 in New Delhi.


Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President – 072 854 5707


Issued by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa