The Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) on the sidelines of the 20th edition of the Doha Forum.
QBA Board Member Sherida Al Kaabi and SACCI President Adv Mtho Xulu signed the agreement. The memorandum of understanding included means of joint cooperation and enhancing mutual investments between Qatar and South Africa.
QBA board members Khaled Al Mannai, Youssef Al Mahmoud, Muhammad Althaf and Ihsan Al Khaymi, in addition to QBA Deputy GM Sarah Al Abdullah, were also present on the occasion.
The agreement signed between the Qatari Businessmen Association and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry stipulated two main areas mainly aiming at strengthening economic and trade relations and cooperation in investment issues, introducing investment projects and available opportunities, stimulating Qatari-South African investments and creating a healthy business environment aimed at promoting the development of commercial and industrial activities.
The MoU also included strengthening direct contact between entrepreneurs in both countries, organizing periodic meetings for the two sides, exchanging visits to present potential joint projects, and exchanging experiences and information related to attracting investors in both countries through investment incentives and promotion mechanisms, which enhance and support joint economic development.
Speaking on the occasion, Mtho Xulu said that his country’s economy has witnessed growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as it launched a huge infrastructure programme, which opens many promising opportunities for investors in the construction, and engineering services sectors, as well as the huge potential in the energy sector, as South Africa seeks to produce about 11,800 additional megawatts of electricity, and Qatari investors can participate in these programmes.
Among the important Qatari investments in South Africa, Qatar Energy is exploring a huge reserve of liquefied natural gas off the coast of South Africa, which will have a significant return on the country. There are also huge opportunities and facilities for investment in the agricultural and livestock sector, and cooperation in this sector can be enhanced in line with Qatar’s Food Security Programme.
Xulu said that there are many opportunities in Qatar for South African investors, such as in the tourism sector, where some South African companies were brought to Qatar to discuss cooperation opportunities on the way to the 2022 World Cup, and the free market in Qatar gives opportunities for South African companies to have a manufacturing headquarters and a centre for exporting its products in the Middle East.
Sasol Energy remains the largest South African investment in the Oryx GTL gas-to-liquids joint venture in Qatar, with about $7.5 billion, in addition to many other companies in the ICT and tourism sectors, and there are many opportunities for growth and development.
Sherida Al Kaabi said that the bilateral relations between Qatar and South Africa are in continuous development and that the memorandum of understanding will increase potential partnerships between the private sectors in the two countries and increase trade exchange, as it recently reached $3 billion with an increase in the volume of exports from Qatar to South Africa, mostly oil and gas products and their derivatives.
The trade exchange also witnessed a significant increase in exports from South Africa to Qatar, especially fruits, processed foods, agricultural products, and meat, in a striking confirmation of the importance of cooperation between the two countries in the food security sector.