Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will, this week, co-chair the eighth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC), in Saudi Arabia, while simultaneously following up on Saudi Arabia’s $10-billion investment pledge to South Africa.
This session of the JEC will assess the progress made, as well as the implementation of the commitments of the previous session, and will seek ways to further deepen trade, as well as economic and social cooperation.
Davies will address a business forum that will be hosted by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce for business persons from both countries.
In the interim, a number of bilateral meetings with relevant Saudi Ministries and investors have been convened to discuss the implementation of the $10-billion investment pledge into South Africa’s energy, defence and agricultural sectors, the DTI said in a statement.
In addition to co-chairing the JEC, Davies is leading a business delegation of South African companies from the financial services, agroprocessing and pharmaceutical sectors to Saudi Arabia.
The visit, the statement explained, is a follow-up on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State visit to Saudi Arabia in July, where the country had pledged to invest $10-billion into a number of sectors in South Africa.
In terms of bilateral trade, total trade between South Africa and Saudi Arabia amounted to R55.4-billion, with a trade surplus in favour of Saudi Arabia owing to oil imports. The total trade has shown a consistent increase from R39.1-billion in 2013, to R55.4-billion in 2017.