South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Hosts Omani Counterpart for Bilateral Discussions, 2 September 2005

Tshwane: South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will host her Omani counterpart, Mr Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah for bilateral political and economic discussions at the Presidential Guest House in Tshwane on Friday, 2 September 2005.

The visit comes in the context of South Africa's commitment to strengthening economic ties between South Africa and countries in the Gulf. Earlier in May 2005, Minister Dlamini Zuma paid a visit to the Gulf States including Oman in December 2004.

Issues on the agenda of the bilateral discussions are expected to include amongst others:

  • The status of bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and the Sultanate of Omani
  • Latest Developments on UN Reform
  • Co-operation between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)
  • Update on the situation in the Middle East

BILATERAL AGREEMENTS

  • An Agreement on Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion to Taxes on Income signed on 9 October 2002
  • A Military Co-operation Agreement signed on 12 March 2002

Other bilateral agreements across a range of issues are currently being negotiated in the arts and culture field, air services, trade and investment, science and technology and shipping and other marine issues.

ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND OMAN

Oman is a member of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), a grouping of oil- producing regional countries which also includes Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. South Africa's bilateral trade with Oman remains very low. During the twelve months until the end of April 2005, South African exports reached R135.1 million and its imports from Oman only R31.6 million. About 70% of South Africa's exports consist of iron and steel products, while imports from Oman are wide-ranging.

The comparative figures over the last five years are as follows:

YearSA Exports SA Imports
2000 R54.8 million R2.5 million
2001R50.6 million R217.3 million
2002R192.8 million R18.4 million
2003R110.3 million R12.9 million
2004R171 million R24.7 million

As part of strengthening people-to-people relations, South Africa has an approximate 350 strong community engaged in a range of professions such as doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers and managers in Oman.

Issued by Nomfanelo Kota on 082 459 3787

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag x152
Pretoria
0001

31 August 2005

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