Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to host UAE Foreign Minister Al-Nahyan

Pretoria – International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will on Friday 22 January 2010 host the United Arab Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and his delegation during his visit to Pretoria.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will meet Minister Al-Nahyan within the context of strengthening bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the two Ministers will be meeting for the 2nd time in South Africa. 

Bilateral Relations

South Africa enjoys positive bilateral relations with the United Arab Emirates and formal diplomatic relations were concluded during the visit by the Foreign Minister Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahyan to South Africa in 1994.  A South African Embassy was opened in Abu Dhabi on 17 January 1995. The UAE was the first GCC country to recognise the new democratically-elected Government by establishing its Embassy in Pretoria in 1995.

Relationship between the two countries is mutually beneficial as more than one hundred South African companies with representative offices in the UAE make a valuable contribution to the development of the UAE’s economy. In the construction industry, South African companies have been involved in some of the UAE’s major projects.

Engagements between Ministers Nkoana-Mashabane and Al-Nahyan are likely to include, among others:

  • The status of bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries;
  • Developments in Africa and South Africa;
  • Developments in the Middle East;
  • Support for the 2010 Fifa World Cup to be hosted by South Africa;
  • Review of Bilateral and Political Relations

Economic Relations

South Africa and the UAE maintain a very strong economic relationship. The UAE is the 24th largest market for South African products. It is one of the major investors in South Africa, the largest investment being Dubai World’s acquisition of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. There are some 210 South African companies with representative offices in the UAE and many have been involved in major projects in several of the emirates.

The United Arab Emirates and South Africa have enjoyed a close commercial relationship since 1994. Overall trade between the two countries has been growing each year. The UAE is one of South Africa's lucrative markets in the Gulf and current statistics show that trade between South Africa and the UAE, especially exports from South Africa, is gaining momentum. Apart from gold, South Africa is also a major exporter of steel to the emirates and South African construction, consultancy and service sectors are also playing a big role in the rapid development of the UAE.

In 2002 South Africa’s exports to UAE was R1,763,628bn and imports from the UAE being R2,474.107bn with a trade balance of R1,053,149bn. Recently, from January to October 2009, South Africa had exports to UAE amounted to R 4,485,579bn and products imported to South Africa was calculated to the value of R3,814,459bn with a total trade of R8,300,138bn and a trade balance of R671,120 million.

Major South African exports to the UAE comprise base metals and allied products, steel for both construction and general engineering, machinery, electronics equipment, minerals; defence equipment; chemicals, plastic goods and foodstuff. In the reverse direction, the UAE exports to SA are oil-related products, machinery, transportation equipment, consumer electronics, home appliances, ball bearings, computer accessories and textiles.

Media Programme for the visit of UAE Foreign Minister Al-Nahyan

Friday 22 January 2010

14:30 : Arrival of Media ahead of meeting between Ministers Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Al-Nahyan
Venue : Minister’s Boardroom OR Tambo Building 460 Soutpansberg Road Rietondale Pretoria
Contact person : Nthabiseng Ramatshela on 082 675 0893
     
15:00 : Meeting between Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Al-Nahyan
17:00  : Media to arrive for photo opportunity ahead of courtesy call on President Jacob Zuma
Venue : TBC
     
17:30 : Joint SA-UAE Press Conference
Venue : Minister’s Boardroom OR Tambo Building 460 Soutpansberg Road Rietondale Pretoria
     

For more information contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on 082 940 1647.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
PRETORIA
0001


21 January 2010

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