SA targets Gulf trade and investment
10 August 2010
A South African delegation led by Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim has concluded a tour aimed at promoting trade, tourism and investment in the Gulf states of Qatar, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Talks in all three countries focused on a review of current bilateral relations, political and economic developments in South Africa, Africa and the Gulf region, as well as relations in the fields of defence, science and technology, energy and arts and culture.
Security Council candidature
All three countries acknowledged the progress South Africa has made since 1994 and relayed to Ebrahim their full support for the South Africa's candidature for the United Nations Security Council non-permanent member seat for the period 2011 to 2012.
In Qatar, Ebrahim discussed the issue of advancing economic cooperation and to finalise the agreements related to the establishment of a South Africa-Qatar Business Council and co-operation between the respective chambers of commerce.
Furthermore, he discussed the agreement for the two countries to further cooperate in the field of science and technology, as well as proposing the establishment of a permanent Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at a South African tertiary institution.
They also touched on the speedy ratification of agreements in defence cooperation and signed into force memoranda of understanding on cooperation in the fields of health, aviation, tourism, agriculture and police.
Strengthening trade and investment
According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the visit to Kuwait was aimed at acknowledging the longstanding relationship the two countries have shared since 2000 resulting in a formalised relationship through the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
To build on this, it was agreed that Prime Minister of Kuwait should visit South Africa in the latter part of 2010 at which time he is expected to meet with the South African Government and business representatives.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain, Ebrahim met his counterpart, Abdulla Abdullatif Abdulla, where they discussed they negotiated five agreements.
These included agreements on economic, trade and technical cooperation; the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments; avoidance of double taxation; and an agreement on cooperation between the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.