South Africa Saudi Arabia Business Council announced the launch of a R20 billion investment company
11 Jun 2012In a boost for South Africa, Saudi Arabia relations, a new strategic economic partnership between the two countries has taken shape. At a media briefing held in Cape Town today, Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Rob Davies said the establishment of a new joint holding company, Saudi Arabia South Africa Holding (SASAH) will potentially create business opportunities worth R20 billion.
Minister Davies said this development is in-line with South Africa's strategy of seeking out new sources of investment and trade with dynamic economies. This is especially important as trade and investment with most of South Africa’s traditional partners are either declining or stagnant.
The new venture was initially launched during the Fourth Saudi Arabian South African Joint Committee held in Riyadh in April 2012, attended by Minister Davies and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
The Co-Chairman of the Saudi Arabia South Africa Business Council Dr Iqbal Surve said, at the media briefing, that SASAH was a special purpose vehicle to enhance business activities between the two consortiums from both countries and to improve and enhance the business relationships between Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
"It will help the two countries to invest in profitable business ventures between two countries and aims to create mutual business opportunities in mining, petrochemicals and agriculture", said Surve.
According to him, the company will be a legally registered entity in their respective countries and achieve the legal requirements of investment authorities and tax regimes of both countries. It may become a major shareholder in some strategic joint ventures.
Surve added that some very significant companies had already indicated a strong interest in the venture and he encouraged companies to approach the council to explore the new funding opportunities now becoming available. Earlier this year, at the Fourth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission, the two countries agreed to increase their total trade to a targeted R60 billion within the next five years.
Minister Davies said the current total trade between the two countries stood at R34 billion in 2011. This represented an annual growth rate of about 32.6% in just one year. Total trade in 2010 amounted to R26 billion. Davies added that South Africa's main exports to Saudi Arabia are oranges, Iron ore, ferro-manganese and other machines and apparatus.
Sidwell Medupe (Departmental Spokesperson)
Tel: 012 394 1650
Cell: 079 492 1774
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
11 Jun 2012
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