Cooperation between the Limpopo government and Middle Eastern countries Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been strengthened following a visit by the provincial government to the countries last week.
This was announced by Premier Sello Moloto yesterday during a media briefing.
Moloto had visited the Middle East to enter into cooperation agreements with the three countries to expose his province's leadership to available opportunities in business, culture, tourism, mining, agriculture and politics.
The targeted areas of possible cooperation were to enhance tourism development, to seek markets for exporting agricultural produce, skills training and transfer, interactions with business and agri-processing technology.
Moloto said among other things the Minister of Economy in the UAE, Sheik Lubna Al Qasimi had pledged to establish a framework for partnership between his country's Department of Planning and Economy and the Limpopo department of economic development, environment and tourism. He said there would also be a programme set up to exchange knowledge and experience between the two countries.
"Trade and investment relations between South Africa and Kuwait are sound and growing in leaps and bounds. We have so far signed agreements in trade, avoidance of double taxation and technical cooperation," explained Moloto.
He said in Qatar, he was requested by the Minister of Finance and the chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority to push the South African government into negotiating a Free Trade Agreement.
"This could be especially important because most regional trading blocs were basing their future trade and investment cooperation in the context of free trade agreements."
"Qatar is a country strong in oil and gas, but is heavily dependent on importing other products are imported.
"It stands to reason, therefore, that opportunities for exporting products from South Africa to Qatar are abundant," said the premier.