Media Statement

06 May 2012

Deputy Minister Ebrahim concludes his Working Visit to the Middle East and Asia

Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim has on Sunday, 06 May 2012 rounded off his working visit to the Middle East and Asia.

The working visit took place within the context of strengthening South Africa’s relations with the regions.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim attended the fourth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) that was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The fourth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) resolved to increase total trade between the two countries to a targeted R60 billion within the next five years. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies co-chaired the commission with his counterpart Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

In Jeddah Deputy Minister Ebrahim met with the Ministry responsible for Hajj.  The Ministry of Hajj assumes the roles of planning, implementation, supervision and control that are concerned with the implementation of the State policy connected with Hajj, pilgrims and performers of Umrah. It is the government body that coordinates with all government authorities and sectors that are concerned with Hajj and Umrah, and coordinates and makes arrangements with the officials of Islamic countries. In discussion with the Ministry, Deputy Minister Ebrahim requested the Hajj Ministry to increase the South African current quota from 2500 to 5000 and 7000 over a period of five years.

The second leg of the visit took place in Astana, Kazakhstan where Deputy Minister Ebrahim attended the second round of political consultations with Deputy Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr Kairat Sarybay. The two principals discussed issues of political cooperation, the 20th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries and the expected opening of a Kazakhstan embassy in South Africa.

During the consultations the parties also expressed their readiness to strengthen trade and economic relations and noted the importance of a multi-dimensional cooperation and the potential for further development.

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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