13 November 2023
President to undertake State Visit to Qatar
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday, 15 November 2023, undertake a State Visit to Qatar at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.
The State Visit will form part of two days of engagement between the Governments of South Africa and Qatar on 14 and 15 November.
The visit occurs in the context of three decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries who will celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations on 11 May 2024. This visit will be President Ramaphosa’s first visit to the State of Qatar as Head of State.
The programme will include meetings with His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, and high-level business engagements.
During their meeting, President Ramaphosa and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani are expected to deliberate on various geopolitical issues that are currently impacting the world.
Both parties are committed to enhancing their economic ties and focusing on improving economic relations including trade, investment, and tourism.
In 2022, Qatar became South Africa’s fifth-largest trading partner in the Middle East.
There is significant potential for further economic cooperation between the two countries. South Africa exported US$ 206 million worth of trade to Qatar in 2022.
The bulk of the exports were in the manufacturing sector, accounting for about 56% of total exports. South Africa has witnessed a surge in its imports from Qatar between 2017 and 2022, primarily due to the import of petroleum oils.
South African imports from Qatar amounted to US$ 252 million in 2022.
The President will be joined by a high-level business delegation and is expected to engage the Qatari business community to explore opportunities for cooperation in areas such as the creative industries, energy, mining, agro-processing, retail, healthcare, tourism, and shipbuilding.
South Africa is a significant investor in Qatar, especially in the petrochemical-related sector, with a total investment of approximately US$ 8.7 billion.
Sasol has a 49% shareholding with Qatar Petroleum, and established ORYX GTL, the world’s first commercial-scale gas-to-liquids plant. Sasol’s GTL technology is used in ORYX GTL to convert natural gas into liquid fuel and chemical products.
The Governments of South Africa and Qatar share deep concern regarding the conflict, notably the unfolding human catastrophe in Palestine, violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, the large-scale loss of life and the ongoing hostilities, especially in Gaza.
The leaders will discuss respective efforts to ensure that the conflict does not escalate to other parts of the region and that a peaceful resolution is found.
South Africa also welcomes Qatar’s mediation efforts in this crisis.
The President will be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Trade, Industry and Competition; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Mineral Resources and Energy; Defence; Basic Education and the Minister in the Presidency.
Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Ramaphosa – firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by: The Presidency