South African officials have held high level meetings separately with their counterparts from neighboring Namibia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intended to enhance bilateral trade and investment opportunities.
Speaking at a media briefing this week during a state visit by Namibian President Hage Geingob, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country and Namibia will deepen trade and investment ties with a Bi-National Commission (BNC) expected to be held between the two countries later this year. Ramaphosa said progress has already been made in various sectors of mutual interests with new agreements signed in order to “further expand our formal scope of cooperation.”
“We will work together to leverage the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Tripartite Free Trade Area between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community,” he said. “This work is important for our collective efforts to rebuild our economies and improve the livelihoods of our people following the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Meanwhile, South Africa and the UAE held high level meetings on Wednesday April 19 to enhance bilateral trade and investment opportunities, exploring avenues to promote development in key sectors such as logistics, food production, tourism, and energy. During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation, facilitate private-sector dialogue, establish new joint ventures and programs, and stimulate mutually beneficial economic growth.
UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeoudi said his country is eager to build partnerships with like-minded nations that can catalyze growth, strengthen supply chains, and create new pathways for investment. He also said as the UAE’s second-largest trade partner in Africa, accounting for 8% of the country’s total non-oil trade with the continent, South Africa has the potential to become an important partner in these efforts.