Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies Davies was accompanied by senior government and state-owned enterprises officials, as well as a business delegation. Photo: Nicholas Rama/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to co-chair the 8th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia joint economic commission (JEC), the trade and industry department said. 

Davies was accompanied by senior government and state-owned enterprises officials, as well as a business delegation, the dti said. 

“In addition to co-chairing the JEC, Minister Davies is leading a business delegation of South African companies from the financial services, agro-processing, and pharmaceutical sectors. 

“The visit is also a follow-up on President (Cyril) Ramaphosa’s state visit to Saudi Arabia in July, where Saudi Arabia pledged to invest $10 billion (R1.4 trillion) in South Africa's energy, defence, and agricultural sectors,” the dti said. 

The 8th session of the JEC will assess the progress made and implementation of the commitments of the previous session and seek ways to further deepen trade, economic and social co-operation. 

Davies will address a business forum hosted by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce for business persons of both countries. 

A number of bilateral meetings with relevant Saudi ministries and investors have also been convened. These will discuss implementation of the institutions with a view to the $10bn investment pledge. 

South Africa and Saudi Arabia have good political and economic relations and co-operate in a number of fields. Saudi Arabia continues to be South Africa's strategic partner in the Middle East and is its second largest trading partner and largest source of imports from the Middle East. Globally, Saudi Arabia is among South Africa's top five import partners. 

SA exports are led by mineral products, automotives, base metals, machinery and mechanical appliances.

– African News Agency (ANA)