16 October 2022
South Africa and Saudi Arabia cements relations as President Ramaphosa concludes State Visit
President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Sunday 16 October 2022, concluded his State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confident that both countries have cemented their continued bilateral cooperation and consolidated their strategic partnership.
President Ramaphosa visited the Kingdom at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness (HRH) King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and was hosted in Jeddah by HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud on 15-16 October 2022.
President Ramaphosa has set a clear agenda of growing economic ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the visit afforded him an opportunity to advance previous discussions on investment and collaboration in identified priority sectors, notably agriculture, defence, energy, and transport, with the Kingdom.
The President applauded the 17 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) as testimony to the real success the two countries are seeking to achieve.
“Having started in 2018 with a commitment by Saudi Arabia to invest 10 billion dollars into the South African economy, in many ways was planting the seed and that seed has been germinating and thus far one billion dollars has been invested in South Africa through a company called ACWA Power”, said President Ramaphosa.
To this end, the two countries signed memoranda of understandings (MoUs) in various fields at a welcome ceremony held at the Saudi Arabia Royal Court in Jeddah.
President Ramaphosa and HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud witnessed the exchange of these MoUs between ministers in attendance of both countries.
The MoUs signed were in the fields of technical cooperation in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture; in the study of the establishment of a Saudi-South Africa Joint Investment Fund and in cooperation in the promotion of direct investment
Other memoranda of understanding signed are on the establishment of a Joint business council, cooperation in the field of military industries and procurements and on geological survey cooperation.
The heads of State also witnessed the exchange of MoUs in the fields of arts and culture; health; social development; mutual recognition of certificates of seafarers; in information, communication and technology including in cooperation between the economic cities and special zones authorities in the Kingdom and in South Africa.
While in Saudi Arabia, President Ramaphosa participated in and addressed the Saudi Arabia – South Africa Investment Forum.
In this regard, the President utilised the opportunity to invite Saudi Arabia businesses to the South Africa’s fifth investment conference he will be convening in 2023.
President Ramaphosa also led a South Africa investment roundtable discussion with key captains of industry from both countries.
President Ramaphosa concluded his visit by officially opening the Lulu Hypermarket South Africa Fest where over 500 South Africa products were on display demonstrating the improving trade relations between South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Ministers Naledi Pandor of International Relations and Cooperation; Thoko Didiza of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform; Ebrahim Patel of Trade, Industry and Competition; Gwede Mantashe of Mineral Resources and Energy, Fikile Mbalula of Transport and Thandi Modise of Defence & Military Veterans.
Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President – 082 835 6315
Issued by: The Presidency