President Zuma upbeat after first day of Oman Visit
15 November 2011
President Jacob Zuma has concluded the first day of his State Visit to the Sultanate of Oman on a high note, following successful bilateral talks with Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said.
President Zuma is accompanied by the Ministers of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, Tourism Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Trade and Industry Rob Davies and International Relations and Cooperation Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. The Ministers met with their counterparts to discuss the deepening of cooperation in their fields.
South Africa wishes to expand the bilateral cooperation with the Sultanate and deepen both political and economic relations.
Since diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Oman were first established after South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, relations have expanded in various fields, aided by the exchange of high-level visits, the negotiation of bilateral agreements and greater people-to-people contact. However, despite the opportunities that exist, the potential for closer collaboration has not yet been fully exploited. Trade volumes remain low and the South African government wants to see this changing for the better. South Africa wants to see an expansion and growth of investments, defence cooperation and tourism linkages amongst others.
It is hoped that the Partnership Forum established between the two countries, which had its inaugural meetings in Muscat, Oman in October 2011, would contribute to the enhancement of economic and political relations.
Today, a Supplementary Protocol amending the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income was signed.
President Zuma is accompanied by a business delegation to explore investment opportunities. They cover the sectors of tourism, ICT, mining, energy and agro-processing.
The President will tomorrow address the South Africa-Omani business forum and visit the Port of Sohar where South African businesses have investments.
“The Sultanate of Oman is an important partner of our country.
This was recognised by our former President, Mr Nelson Mandela, who paid two visits to Oman to boost relations,’’ said President Zuma.
President Zuma added: ‘’With regards to trade relations, South Africa has already made some important investments in Oman, particularly related to the port of Sohar, which I am looking forward to visit tomorrow. We would like to see companies and Government institutions of Oman seriously consider South Africa as an investment destination’’.
Oman is to send a business delegation to South Africa next year to identify investment opportunities.
Enquiries: Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203.
Issued by: The Presidency