South Africa and UAE discuss enhancing ties

04 Jul 2019

flagsThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expressed its willingness to insert billions of dollars in the South African economy at an annual meeting between the two countries, IOL reports.

The UAE is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the Arab world for non-oil commodities. It also makes up 50% of the total non-oil foreign trade between the Arab countries and South Africa, totalling to about U.S.$3 billion.

When speaking at the business forum, Undersecretary for UAE Ministry of Economics, His Excellency Abdulla Al Saleh, revealed that they were pleased to contribute to the South African economy. Al Saleh also referred to the forum as a platform aiding to boost bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa's visit to the UAE in 2018, when the UAE addressed plans to invest U.S.$10 billion in infrastructure and enterprise growth in the South African economy over the coming years.

Al Saleh described the relationship between the two countries as “excellent”, adding that both governments were eager to boost ties with the business community of both countries.

He went on to say: "Africa is growing very fast in different sectors, especially infrastructure projects in southern Africa and South Africa is the network and the most advanced economy in the continent. With the hub of our trade and investment here, we would like to commit ourselves as a hub in the Arab region with a hub here in Africa for opportunities that exist in South Africa.

"I would like to mention at this moment a commit by the UAE government to invest and to finance projects here in South Africa to the amount of $10 billion, and that was announced last year during the visit of the president of South Africa to UAE. And I'm sure in the coming years you will see a lot of projects that we have invested in."

UAE Ambassador to Pretoria, Mahash Al Hameli, credited the forum for having celebrated a significant milestone for the two countries’ relationship, saying it marked 25 years since the beginning of their diplomatic ties.