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Ramaphosa undertakes State visit to Qatar

Image of Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa

13th November 2023

By: Thabi Shomolekae

Creamer Media Senior Writer

     

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday undertake his first State visit to Qatar, at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar.

The two-day visit comes ahead of the 30-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries, which is May 11.

The Presidency highlighted that during the meeting, Ramaphosa and 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,” said the Presidency.

In 2022, Qatar became South Africa's fifth-largest trading partner in the Middle East.

The Presidency explained that there is significant potential for further economic cooperation between the two countries, with South Africa exporting $206-million worth of trade to Qatar in 2022.

The Presidency added that 56% of total exports were from the manufacturing sector. South Africa has witnessed a surge in its imports from Qatar between 2017 and 2022, primarily owing to the import of petroleum oils.

South African imports from Qatar amounted to $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 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 USD 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,” said the Presidency.

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor; Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel; Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza; Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe; Minister of Defence Thandi Modise, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and the Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

PALESTINE–ISRAEL CONFLICT

The Presidency noted that the governments of South Africa and Qatar are deeply concerned about the conflict and 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.

 

Edited by Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

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