The Presidency announced that President Jacob Zuma will be embarking on a state visit to Qatar on Thursday.
The Qatar visit will include discussions with the Emir of Qatar‚ Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on how to strengthen relations between the two countries.
The spokesman for the Presidency, Dr. Bongani Ngqulunga said that the Qatar visit above all is aimed at strengthening and elevating bilateral relations with Qatar which was made stronger by the president’s visit in 2012.
“These relations were further enhanced and consolidated by President Zuma’s Official Visit to Qatar in January 2012‚ during which discussions revolved around a wide range of issues and concrete projects that the two countries could engage in including cooperation in areas such as water‚ energy‚ construction‚ agriculture and infrastructure development‚” Ngqulunga said.
While on the trip, Ngqulunga confirmed that President Zuma is scheduled to meet with the Emir of Qatar‚ Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani as well as engage in bilateral talks on trade and economic relations existing between the two countries.
“South Africa’s political and economic relations with the State of Qatar have grown significantly over recent years and have become more diverse‚ noticeably in the field of trade‚ while bilateral relations between the two countries are managed through the Bilateral Consultations‚ which is due to hold its 5th session in South Africa in the current year.”
He pointed out that aside from political and economic relations, trade activities between the two countries has increased in recent years from SA R4 billion in 2012 to SA R7 billion in 2015.
“Most of South Africa’s investments in Qatar are in the petrochemical-related sectors such as Sasol‚ which plays a significant role in Qatar in the development of the country’s gas reserves.”
During the Qatar visit, the Presidency added that President Zuma will also pay a courtesy visit to the Father Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.