President Cyril Ramaphosa left South Africa today, November 14, 2023, for a two-day State Visit to Qatar. The visit comes at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.
The program for the visit will include meetings with His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and high-level business engagements.
During their meeting, President Ramaphosa and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani are expected to discuss various geopolitical issues that are currently impacting the world.
Both parties are also committed to enhancing their economic ties and focusing on improving economic relations in areas such as trade, investment, and tourism.
In 2022, Qatar became South Africa’s fifth-largest trading partner in the Middle East. There is significant potential for further economic cooperation between the two countries. South Africa exported US$ 206 million worth of goods to Qatar in 2022, with the bulk of the exports being in the manufacturing sector. South Africa has also witnessed a surge in its imports from Qatar between 2017 and 2022, primarily due to the import of petroleum oils. South African imports from Qatar amounted to US$ 252 million in 2022.
His Excellency President @CyrilRamaphosa is undertaking a State Visit to #Qatar at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) November 14, 2023
This visit will be President Ramaphosa's first visit to the State of Qatar as Head of State.#SAinQatar… pic.twitter.com/iCgDSX2eq8
President Ramaphosa will be joined by a high-level business delegation and is expected to engage the Qatari business community to explore opportunities for cooperation in areas such as the creative industries, energy, mining, agro-processing, retail, healthcare, tourism, and shipbuilding.
South Africa is a significant investor in Qatar, especially in the petrochemical-related sector, with a total investment of approximately US$ 8.7 billion. Sasol has a 49% shareholding with Qatar Petroleum, and established ORYX GTL, the world’s first commercial-scale gas-to-liquids plant. Sasol’s GTL technology is used in ORYX GTL to convert natural gas into liquid fuel and chemical products.
The Governments of South Africa and Qatar share deep concern regarding the conflict in Palestine, and will discuss respective efforts to ensure that the conflict does not escalate to other parts of the region and that a peaceful resolution is found. South Africa also welcomes Qatar’s mediation efforts in this crisis.
President Ramaphosa is 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.