South Africa and Saudi Arabia sign MoUs to increase investment in energy, water, green hydrogen, waste diversion, and logistics.
South Africa and Saudi Arabia have signed a series of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to foster investment between the two countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
South Africa as a destination for investment
The agreements involve energy, water, green hydrogen, waste diversion, and logistics. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also highlighted mining, renewable energy, security, transport, agri-aquaculture as areas of agreement.
The deals were signed at the Saudi-South African Investment Forum that was organized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment. The agreements are all aimed at furthering investment between the two countries.
The Saudi-South African Investment Forum included sessions in which upcoming and potential projects in the Kingdom were discussed. Sessions were also devoted to the discussion of investments and projects in energy, renewable energy, mining, agriculture and food processing, and tourism.
Notable attendees included Ramaphosa, Investment Minister Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Falih, Tourism Minister Ahmed bin Aqeel al-Khateeb, and Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim al-Khorayef. Other representatives of the Saudi government, the Federation of Saudi Chambers and members of the private sector from both countries were also in attendance. Ramaphosa was accompanied by Solidarity Funds’ Gloria Serobe and Aspen Pharmacare‘s Stavros Nicolaou with ministers Naledi Pandor, Gwede Mantashe, Thandi Modise, Thoko Didiza, Fikile Mbalula, Ebrahim Patel and his advisers also in attendance.
Rising trade and solid ties
Trade between the two countries has increased from USD 4.6 billion in 2019 to USD 4.8 billion in 2021. 2022 is set to exceed USD 5.3 billion, according to al-Falih.
Al-Falih spoke about the friendly ties between Saudi Arabia and South Africa, highlighting their trade and economic cooperation, which has been ongoing for over 30 years. Al-Falih mentioned that renewable and green energy, mining, agriculture and food processing, hydrogen and solar energy, tourism, aerospace, and information technology were areas in which the two countries could work together.
Ramaphosa said, “These memoranda of understanding are what I call door-openers. They pave the way for much greater co-operation for high trade and investment flows between South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Yesterday we heard about the enormous trade and investment opportunities in South Africa across a range of sectors. We had the summit with his royal highness and his ministers as well as ministers from my side where we were able to exchange a number of interesting views as well as to exchange the MoUs that were signed between the two countries.”
South Africa was recently rated as ‘Investment Grade’ by ratings company Sovereign Africa Rating, a newly-launched ratings agency. The government has also been in talks with Qatar about potential investments.