The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, and his Saudi counterpart, Dr Twafeeq Al Rabeeach will co-chair the seventh session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Cape Town. The JEC will start tomorrow with senior government officials and conclude on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 with the signing of the joint communiqué by the two ministers.
The JEC is an initiative agreed upon between the two countries to strengthen economic ties and to attract foreign direct investment from Saudi Arabia into South Africa in targeted sectors. It also aims to promote sound business-to-business cooperation.
South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business Council will take place on the side-lines of the JEC and will report back to the Ministers within the framework of the JEC. The purpose of the Business Council is to enhance economic trade relations by identifying specific projects or initiatives in various priority sectors.
At the sixth session of the JEC that was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last year, Davies said that the level of investment between the two countries is far below potential. The JEC resolved that in order to improve investment between the two countries, South African and Saudi Arabian companies should explore investments and joint ventures.
Both sides agreed to enhance trade and investment, through the exchange of high level business delegations, and participation in each other’s country exhibitions. They also agreed to participate in priority investment sectors such as agro-processing, the blue economy, mining and petro-chemicals; as well as investment in special economic zones.
Meanwhile, Davies together with his Saudi counterpart, Al Rabeeach will launch the R5bn Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in Groblershoop, outside Upington, in the Northern Cape.
The Bokpoort CSP Project is one of the flagship concentrated solar thermal projects in South Africa, and is set to become a Solar Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) with the largest level of thermal storage (9,3 hours) in the world when completed. The plant forms part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPP.)
Premier of the Northern, Cape Ms. Sylvia Elizabeth Lucas; Members of Executive Council, and Mayors will attend the launch.