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Middle Eastern countries invest billions in SA

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has committed to invest US$10 billion in key sectors

of South Africa’s economy, including tourism and mining, to support the sustainable development of the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently paid a state visit to the UAE, where he met with his counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi.

In a statement following the visit, the Presidency said President Ramaphosa’s first visit to the UAE marked the beginning of a new chapter in the long-standing relations between South Africa and the UAE.

“The leadership of the two countries reaffirmed their deep commitment to further consolidate their strong bilateral relations across a variety of fields, including trade, transport, infrastructure development, tourism, mining, investment and cultural cooperation,” the Presidency said.

To support these efforts, a busi- ness forum was held between the UAE and South Africa, in which the UAE announced its plans to invest the $10 billion in key sectors.

The Presidency said the UAE fur- ther welcomed South Africa’s positive role in supporting peace and stability on the African continent. The two sides pledged to work closely together in order to pro- mote peace, stability, prosperity and tolerance in Africa and the Middle East.

Earlier, President Ramaphosa also embarked on a state visit to Saudi Arabia.

During that visit, Saudi Arabia made a $10 billion investment pledge into the South African energy sector that is set to enhance energy security, create capacity and reduce the cost of energy in South Africa.

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

President Ramaphosa characterised his state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a remarkable success. He engaged in officialtalks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the government of Saudi Arabia during his one-day state visit to the Arabic country.

It provided a platform for Presi- dent Ramaphosa and the 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. 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 ser- vice to the Kingdom and is named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.

During the visit, Saudi Arabia pledged support for South Africa to be accorded observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (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 aims to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among vari- ous people of the world.

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