Deputy President Jacob Zuma to pay Official Visit to Libya, Tuesday, 8 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

Pretoria - South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma will pay an official visit to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from Tuesday - Thursday, 8-10 March 2005 where he will lead a senior South African government and business delegation.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma's delegation is expected to include Ministers Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Jeff Radebe and Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad.

Bilateral political and economic discussions between Deputy President Jacob Zuma and Libyan Prime Minister Dr Shukri Mohammed Ghanem are expected to:

  • Consolidate bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Libya;
  • Discuss the operationalisation of the African Union and its Organs and the implementation of NEPAD as the continent's socio-economic programme; and
  • Consolidate efforts to achieve peace, security and stability in Africa.

This high-level visit to Libya comes after Libya has denounced its nuclear weapons programme and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. These developments have created the conditions for the international community - the United Nations, the European Union and the United States - to lift International sanction thereby unlocking new opportunities for political, economic and trade co-operation with Libya.

A Joint Bilateral Commission, inaugurated in Tripoli from 12 - 14 June 2002 by President Thabo Mbeki and Libyan President Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, exists between both countries.

At the conclusion of the first session of the Joint Bilateral Commission on 14 June 2002, the following agreements were signed:

  • The Joint Bilateral Commission Agreement
  • Bilateral Trade Agreement
  • Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment
  • Agreement on Merchant Shipping and Maritime Related Matters
  • Letter of Intent for cooperation in the field of Transport and Transportation
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services
  • Protocol of Intent on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology
  • Letter of Intent on an Agreement on Cultural Cooperation.

The conclusion of these agreements between Libya and South Africa has made it easier for the South African private sector to exploit the economic opportunities that exist in Libya - tourism, oil exploration, agriculture, communications, mining, manufacturing, and textiles

While in Libya, Deputy President Jacob Zuma is expected to pay a courtesy call on President Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, co-sign with his counterpart Prime Minister Ghanem an Air Service Agreement, and visit the Roman Ruins at Leptus Magna.

Economic and Trade Relations

Many opportunities in the fields of construction, hydrocarbons mining and energy, tourism, textiles, agriculture, communications and cooperation in the military field exist between both countries.

ESKOM has formed a joint venture company, Global Electrical Services Company (GESCO) with the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL). The joint venture aimed to assist GECOL in the rehabilitation of Thermal Power Plants and to build capacity within GECOL in the area of plant rehabilitation and maintenance. Over the past two years, some major projects had been successfully completed.

The main exports to Libya include base metals, machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances and agricultural products (vegetables).

Bilateral Trade Statistics

SA Trade with Libya
YearSA Exports
SA Imports
Trade (+ Surplus / - Deficit)
200269,200,003+ 69,19
200340,900,05+ 40,85
200430,900,50+ 30,40

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

7 March 2005

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