by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – QATAR and South Africa are marking three decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
May 11, 2024 will mark the official beginning of the relations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on 15 November undertake a State Visit to Qatar at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. The State Visit will form part of two days of engagement between the governments of South Africa and Qatar.
This visit will be Ramaphosa’s first visit to Qatar as head of state.
The programme will include meetings with bin Hamad Al Thani and high-level business engagements.
Ramaphosa and His Highness are expected to deliberate on various geopolitical issues that are currently impacting the world.
Both parties are committed to enhancing economic ties and focusing on improving economic relations including trade, investment and tourism.
In 2022, Qatar became South Africa’s fifth-largest trading partner in the Middle East.
South Africa exported US$206 million worth of trade to Qatar in 2022.
South African imports from Qatar amounted to $252 million in 2022.
The Southern African country is a significant investor in Qatar, especially in the petrochemical-related sector, with a total investment of approximately $8,7 billion.
Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Trade, Industry and Competition; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Mineral Resources and Energy; Defence, Basic Education and the Minister in the Presidency.
– CAJ News