President Cyril Ramaphosa concludes successful visit to Saudi Arabia

President Ramaphosa lauds his visit to Saudi Arabia

President Cyril Ramaphosa has characterised his State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a remarkable success, as he had positive and fruitful official talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during his one day State visit in the Arabic country.

The State Visit provided a platform to President Ramaphosa and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to deliberate on various issues of mutual concern as well as to deepen and strengthen bilateral, political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries.

Amongst the most important highlights of the visit was the $10 billion in new investment pledge by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that will be channelled primarily toward the energy sectors to enhance energy security, create capacity and reduce cost in South Africa.

In this regard President Ramaphosa said This commitment from the Kingdom is a demonstration of confidence in our economy and gives further impetus to South Africa's drive to raise $100 billion in new investment over the next five years to create jobs and for development.

President Ramaphosa was also conferred with the Order of King Abdulaziz, the highest honour by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, awarded to citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners for meritorious service to the Kingdom and is named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud, founder of the modern Saudi state.

Saudi Arabia has pledged support for South Africa to be accorded the observer status in the Organization for Islamic Co-operation (OIC). The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. It endeavours to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.

An observer status will give South Africa a number of privileges in terms of accessing developmental co-operation support, especially its financial institutions which support infrastructure development as well.

The two countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding on defence as well as on co-operation in the energy sector.

President Ramaphosa also applauded the significant work done by South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission, which is co-chaired by respective Ministers of Trade and Industry.

The seventh edition of the Joint Economic Commission took place in South Africa in 2016 and we look forward to building on the gains made at the forthcoming meeting, scheduled to take place in October later this year said President Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Defence and Military Veterans; Energy, Police and Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry.

President Ramaphosa has departed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the United Arab Emirates.

Source: Government of South Africa