Minister Dlamini Zuma to Depart on Four-Nation Visit to the Middle East to Boost Trade, Investment and Tourism Opportunities

Pretoria - South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will depart on a four-nation visit to the Middle East on Monday, 9 May 2005. Minister Dlamini Zuma is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

The four-nation visit to the Middle East by Minister Dlamini Zuma comes in the context of efforts by South Africa to expand the frontiers of trade, investment and tourism in the Middle East and Asia region. This follows her visit to the region in early December 2004.

Minister Dlamini Zuma returned to South Africa on Sunday, 8 May 2005 following official visits to Senegal and Comores.

In Senegal, Minister Dlamini Zuma received, on behalf of President Thabo Mbeki, the first biannual African Gender Award for 2005, in recognition of the leading role he has played in implementing the African Union's 2003 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

In Comores Minister Dlamini Zuma led, the AU Ministerial Committee on the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development of the Comoros, in her capacity as chairperson of a delegation of Foreign Ministers of Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius.

United Arab Emirates (Tuesday, 10 - Friday, 13 May 2005)

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Minister Dlamini Zuma will pay courtesy calls on President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan; and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Discussions are expected to focus on issues related to the African Agenda, including UAE support for NEPAD and developments in the Middle East, in particular the Palestinian and Iraqi issues. Other issues may include UN reform and regional co-operation between SADC and the Gulf Co-operation Council. There will also be a review of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Bilateral Economic Relations

South Africa's annual trade with the UAE reached R3.17bn in 2004 - ie. exports of R2.46mn and imports of R703mn.

Yemen (Saturday, 14 May 2005)

Minister Dlamini Zuma will hold discussions with her counterpart, Foreign Minister Dr Abu Bakr Al-Qurabi on Saturday, 14 May 2005 in Sana'a.

Issues on the agenda of discussions will include, among others:
· The status of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries;
· A briefing by Minister Dlamini Zuma on the operationalisation of the African Union and NEPAD and peacekeeping developments in Africa; and
· An exchange of views on the reform of the United Nations institutions.

While in Yemen, Minister Dlamini Zuma will pay a courtesy call on President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Prime Minister Abdul Qadir Ba Jamal and hold discussions with the Ministers of Oil and Minerals Dr Rasheed ba Rabaa and Defence General Abdullah Ba Ailaiwa

Bilateral Economic Relations

Exports to Yemen increased from R25 064 000 in 2003 to R 106 705 000 in 2004, an increase of more than 400%. Imports also increased from R202 850 000 in 2003 to R551 849 000 in 2004 or an increase of more than 200%.

Trade Figures (ZAR) Imports Exports Total trade

2000 87 000 16 541 000 16 628 000
2001 3 881 000 42 829 000 46 710 000
2002 421 289 000 38 383 000 459 672 000
2003 202 850 000 25 064 000 227 914 000
2004 551 849 000 106 705 000 658 554 000

Saudi Arabia (Sunday, 15 - Monday, 16 May 2005)

Minister Dlamini Zuma will hold discussions with her counterpart, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on Sunday, 15 May 2005 in Riyadh.

Issues on the agenda are expected to include, among others:
· The status of bilateral economic and political relations between both countries;
· An exchange of views of developments in the Middle East Peace Process, Iraq and Lebanon;
· Regional developments; and
· An exchange of views on the reform of the United Nations institutions.

Minister Dlamini Zuma is also scheduled to pay courtesy calls on Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud; Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Aviation Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud; the Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud; and Ministers of Trade and Industry and Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Dr Hashim Yamani and Ali Al-Naimi.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will also meet with representatives of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and African ambassadors based in Riyadh.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Trade Figures(ZAR) Imports Exports Total trade

1996 928 070 634 401 187 377 1 329 258 011
2000 14 066 883 422 1 046 448 106 15 113 331 528
2001 14 897 669 817 1 061 532 998 15 959 202 815
2002 12 497 470 000 1 368 773 000 13 866 243 000
2003 15 049 987 000 1 256 000 000 16 305 987 000
2004 17 085 370 000 1 522 764 000 18 608 034 000

South African companies such as Group 5, Bateman, Woolworths, Truworths, Foschini and Nando's have invested in Saudi Arabia, whereas Saudi businesses such as Saudi Oger, Cell C, Amintit, Flowtide, Bin Laden, Sheikh Zahid, Shabatl, Dallah, Albaraka Bank and Al-Yateen Trading have invested substantially in South Africa.

Bahrain (Tuesday, 17 - Wednesday, 18 May 2005)

Minister Dlamini Zuma is scheduled to hold bilateral economic and political discussions with her Bahraini counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohamed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa in Manama on Tuesday, 17 May 2005.

Issues on the agenda of bilateral discussions are expected to include, among others:
· The status of bilateral economic and political relations between both countries;
· An exchange of views of developments in the Middle East Peace Process, Iraq and Lebanon;
· Regional developments; and
· An exchange of views on the reform of the United Nations institutions.

Minister Dlamini Zuma is also scheduled to pay courtesy calls on King Hamad bin Essa Al-Khalifa and Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and hold discussions with Minister of Finance Shaikh Hamad bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa.

Minister Dlamini Zuma is also scheduled to meet with representatives of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Bilateral Economic Relations

Trade Figures (ZAR) Imports Exports Total trade

2000 40 533 000 37 177 000 77 710 000
2001 413 039 000 55 331 000 468 370 000
2002 112 697 000 100 864 000 213 561 000
2003 18 589 000 87 329 000 105 918 000
2004 154 178 000 79 319 000 233 497 000

Bahrain offers South Africa opportunities in the banking sector, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and also water conservation technology. Furthermore, closer relations with Bahrain could help strengthen South Africa's influence in the GCC, as Bahrain plays a significant role in this multilateral regional forum.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001
8 May 2005

Quick Links

Disclaimer | Contact Us | HomeLast Updated: 8 May, 2005 2:40 PM
This site is best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution with Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape Communicator 4.5 or higher.
2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa