President Zuma to visit two nations in the Gulf Region

President Jacob Zuma will conduct a two-nation visit to the Gulf Region beginning with the United Arab Emirates from 13-14 November and Oman from 15-16 November 2011.

South Africa’s relations with the Gulf States have grown significantly since the mid-1990s. Not only is the Gulf the source of more than half of South Africa’s crude oil requirements, but it has become a major market for South African products, a source of investment and home to a sizeable South African expatriate community.

Several South African companies have representative offices in the Gulf and have been involved in major projects in the region in areas such as construction and petrochemicals. South Africa’s relations with the Gulf are focused on increasing trade and investment. Several Gulf companies have made large investments in South Africa, particularly in the mining, telecommunications and tourism sectors.

The UAE, despite its relatively small population, is currently the 18th largest market for South African exports. Both Oman and the UAE are also important markets for the South African defence industry. Two UAE airlines, Emirates and Etihad, operate a total of 56 weekly flights to South Africa.

The Middle East is an important economic region as it occupies a unique geopolitical position in the tri-continental hub of Europe, Asia and Africa.  It is the source of 67% of the world’s petroleum reserves and commands two of the most strategically important waterways in the world, namely the Gulf and the Red Sea, giving access to the Asian hinterland via the Gulf of Aqaba.

In Oman, it is expected that a “Supplementary Protocol amending the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income” would be signed.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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10 November 2011
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