Media Statement

29 March 2015

President Zuma to undertake a State Visit to Algeria

His Excellency President Jacob Zuma will undertake a State Visit to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria on 30 March 2015 - 01 April 2015 at the invitation of H.E. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The objective of the visit is to further strengthen and consolidate the strategic and historical bilateral relations between the two countries.  It is anticipated that the two Presidents will have discussions on important regional and global issues of mutual concern, as well as to review the status of bilateral relations.

South Africa and Algeria enjoy excellent bilateral cooperation through the framework of the South Africa-Algeria Binational Commission of Cooperation (BNC).  President Zuma and President Bouteflika will be convening the 6th Session of the Binational Commission.

The bilateral interaction between the two countries is centred on the following key areas: Quality of Life and Human Resources; People to People Relations; Energy and Infrastructure; Natural Resources; Defence, Safety and Security, and Trade and Investment.

Since the convening of the 5th Session of the Binational Commission the two countries have made good progress, especially in the areas of Science and Technology, Defence, Arts and Culture and Trade and Investment.  In addition to further consolidating these areas of cooperation, the 6th Session of the Binational Commission will cement collaboration in the areas of Agriculture; Energy; Higher Education; Telecommunications and Information Technology; Labour and Social Security; Health; Tourism; Transport; Human Settlements; Local Government; and Sports and Recreation.

President Zuma will be accompanied by the following Ministers: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements; Mr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services; and Mr Mandible Masina, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.

Algeria is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the region and bilateral trade has grown progressively over the last few years, thus providing great potential to further enhance trade and investment co-operation.

Algeria through its National Investment Plan (NIP) is seeking to diversify its economy away from its dependence on hydrocarbon exports by developing, inter alia, its mining, agro-processing and infrastructure sectors. Algeria is seeking to develop and diversify its economy through the NIP, which is valued at approximately US$262 billion for the period 2015-2019 and presents numerous opportunities for South African companies.

Algeria is a strategic partner in the North Africa region, accounting for 32% of total trade in 2014. Total exports to Algeria were valued at R1.8 billion, whilst total imports from Algeria were valued at R86 million.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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