President Jacob G. Zuma arrived in Cairo for a State visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt today, 19 October 2010

This morning, Tuesday 19 October 2010, President Jacob G. Zuma arrived in Cairo to embark on a State Visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt. Discussions between President Zuma and his Egyptian counterpart, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, will focus on strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The bilateral, political and economic relations between Egypt and South Africa have improved greatly since 1993. In April 1996, these improvements were underpinned with the convening of the First Annual Joint Bilateral Commission Meeting in Cairo.

The objective of President Zuma’s state visit to Egypt is to consolidate and strengthen the bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Egypt given there are currently more than 20 existing agreements between South Africa and Egypt signed under the umbrella of the South Africa-Egypt Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC). The 8th JBC was held from 5-10 March 2010.

Over the period 2006 – June 2010, trade has been favourable to South Africa with total exports amounting to R3, 476 billion while imports amounted to R2, 356 billion. The trade balance between the two countries amounted to R1, 120 billion in favour of South Africa.

The State Visit is as an opportunity to further advance South Africa’s trade agenda. It is in this regard, that over 130 South African business delegation from key sectors including mining, infrastructure/engineering/ICT, manufacturing (automotive, agro-processing) and energy are accompanying President Zuma. 
Egypt is considered to be a major power in North Africa, which creates a platform for building mutually beneficial interaction with South Africa. It offers opportunities for increased trade to and from South Africa, remaining a strategic partner for the country on the continent.

Expected outcomes of the mission to Egypt include engagements about the extent to which the mining metals, capital equipment, Energy, Engineering and ICT, Defense and Security, as well as Agro-processing sectors will form the basis for export and investment promotional activities for South Africa. These sectors have been identified as the core focus to strengthen business-to-business engagement, and will further develop business interaction by leveraging the platform of the Business Council. South Africa’s commercial capabilities and opportunities will be exposed to Egypt’s business community, to promote Egyptian investment into South Africa. The parties may also agree on commercial projects and plans for implementing such projects, to enhance trade and investment relations between the two countries.

Over and above strengthening bilateral cooperation in arts and culture, tourism, science and technology, and economic cooperation, the South African delegation led by President Zuma, will also discuss possibilities for oil exploration by PetroSA. Despite the energy sector making up only about 15 percent of Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product GDP), South Africa still sees that country as one of the continent’s important producers of oil and gas.

The President and Mrs Sizakele Zuma, will be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Mrs Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Arts and Culture, Ms Lulu Xingwana; Communications, Mr Siphiwe Nyanda; Sport and Recreation, Rev Makhenkesi Stofile; Energy, Ms Dipuo Peters; Agriculture and Fisheries, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson; They will also be joined by Deputy Ministers of Water adn Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi; Trade and Industry, Ms Thandi Tobias-Poloko; and Tourism, Ms Thozile Xasa.

The president and his delegation are expected to conclude the visit tomorrow afternoon.

For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy on  
 +27 82 940 1647  +27 82 940 1647  ,   +27 12 351 0083  +27 12 351 0083   or email him at Alternatively, please call President Zuma’s Spokesperson, Mr Zizi Kodwa, on   +27 82 330 4910  +27 82 330 4910  .

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg

19 October 2010


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