Political relations between South African and Saudi Arabia are strong, but their economic and trade should still be reviewed and revitalised, President Jacob Zuma said in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sunday.
Zuma was speaking at the SA–Saudi Arabia business seminar in Riyadh during his state visit to the country.
“Opportunities for mutual partnerships between our two countries are almost limitless,” he said.
The next important step was to enhance bilateral trade, investment flows, the identification of targeted areas of collaboration and to address impediments in this respect, as well as implementation of a mutually agreed upon framework to enhance economic, trade, and investment co-operation, he said.
This included collaboration in skills and technology transfers, strengthening trade institutions, and optimal co-operation between the governments and private sectors of the two countries.
Identified targeted sectors with high potential to expand South Africa – Saudi Arabia trade, economic, and investment relations included petrochemical gas exploration and alternative energy sectors, including investment in South Africa’s refining capacity; agricultural products, agro-processed goods, and food processing equipment; mining management and technologies, mining equipment, and minerals mapping and beneficiation; the automotive industry and manufacturing; and the chemicals, medical, and pharmaceuticals sector.
“On the investment front, I am happy to inform you that South Africa is open for doing business and is globally regarded as a strategic and competitive destination for foreign investors,” Zuma said.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report latest rankings, South Africa had risen seven places to rank 49th out of 140 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index. South Africa remained 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.
“The unique combination of a highly developed first-world economic infrastructure and a huge emerging market economy has given rise to a strong entrepreneurial and dynamic investment environment,” he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)