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Saudi Arabia, South Africa to Discuss Agreements on Technologies, Green Economy, Hydrogen

Saudi Arabia, South Africa to Discuss Agreements on Technologies, Green Economy, Hydrogen

Sunday, 14 August, 2022 - 09:00
South Africa’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mogobo David Magabe, speaks during an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat. (Photo: Ali Zaheri)

A senior South African diplomat said that negotiations were underway to sign cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia that would cover various sectors, including agriculture, industry, green economy, climate and technology.


In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, South Africa’s ambassador to the Kingdom, Mogobo David Magabe, said that his country was determined to advance its agricultural, industrial and mining cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the coming period, along with the green economy, climate and technology.


He stressed that he was looking forward to the influx of large Saudi investments, especially in the energy sector.


Saudi Arabia maintains its position as the second largest export market for South Africa in the GCC region, after the UAE, with total bilateral trade approaching USD 40 billion in 2021, according to the ambassador.


He added that in 2021 total exports to the Kingdom amounted to USD 3.3 billion, while total imports reached USD 36.5 billion.


According to Magabe, South Africa and Saudi Arabia were renowned for their progress in the field of digital technologies; therefore bilateral cooperation in this field would further enhance this reputation.


“We are also exploring new areas of economic cooperation, especially in investment, agriculture, tourism, transportation, health, and the exchange of experiences in various fields such as mining,” he underlined.


The South African ambassador noted that his country and Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong bilateral relations at the strategic level, after the formalization of diplomatic ties in 1994.


He pointed to the role of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in driving the partnership between the two countries.


Magabe said that the most important South African exports to Saudi Arabia included edible fruits and nuts, citrus and melon peels, oilseeds and oleaginous fruits, organic compounds and chemicals, machinery and mechanical devices, nuclear reactors, boilers, aluminum and iron or steel equipment.


As for Saudi exports to South Africa, those include mineral fuels, mineral oils and distillation products, bituminous materials, plastics, fertilizers, organic chemicals, salt, sulfur, stone, plastering materials, cement, aluminum products, chemical products, inorganic chemicals, and organic or inorganic compounds from precious metals, rare earth metals and copper.


On the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis on the economy, energy and food in his country, Magabe said: “South Africa has adopted a non-aligned position on the war and we continue to call for a peaceful solution. Indeed, the conflict has negatively affected the country’s economy and the average citizen in South Africa, especially with regard to the daily needs of food and energy.”


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