Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel will host the 9th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Trade and Investment Forum next week.

The forum is set to take place on Monday in Pretoria alongside the 9th Session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC).

Patel and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, are expected to address both the forum on Monday and the Plenary Session of the JEC on Tuesday.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition said the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council will be launched on the first day.

“The objective of the forum is to provide South African and Saudi Arabian companies with a strategic platform to engage on bilateral trade and investment opportunities in both markets, while simultaneously affording them access to senior decision-makers and stakeholders,” the department said.

According to the Acting Deputy Director-General of Invest SA, Yunus Hoosen, the JEC between South Africa and Saudi Arabia is envisaged to explore areas of cooperation, which will provide and promote opportunities on trade and investment, and industrial development.

“The JEC is an ideal platform to unlock investments through establishing networks with key Saudi Arabian officials and private sector leaders, and importantly to attract investment. Significantly, the launch of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council will bring together captains of industry from both countries to develop a roadmap to deepen economic ties,” Hoosen said.

According to Hoosen, Saudi Arabia continues to be South Africa’s strategic partner in the Middle East. It is South Africa’s second largest trading partner in the Middle East and largest source of imports from the region.

He added that the exchange of political and business visits, as well as trade and investment exhibitions and seminars by both countries in the past years have had a positive effect on trade and investment trends.

Total bilateral trade between South Africa and Saudi Arabia stood at R66.15 billion in 2021 with South African exports at R5.54 billion and imports from Saudi Arabia amounting to R60.61 billion.

South Africa’s main exports to Saudi are concentrated in agriculture,and agro-processing; mineral resources, chemicals, automotive parts and components, and metals.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia ranked as a largest source of imports, mainly for oil supply. Saudi Arabia plays an important role as a source of oil, as well as a destination for South Africa’s exports.

Source: Nam News Network

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