By SA News
President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa and the United Kingdom have identified key sectors for investment aimed at boosting economic growth and development.
The President on Tuesday hosted UK Prime Minister Theresa May at Tuynhuys in Cape Town. May is in the country on a working visit.
Accompanied by Ministers and a delegation of 29 business executives, the Prime Minister’s visit to SA and other African countries is seen as a push to cement ties with countries outside the European Union as Britain prepares to leave Europe’s trade bloc by March next year.
President Ramaphosa said during the talks between the two countries, the parties reviewed a range of issues of a bilateral, continental and global nature.
“In our official talks, we noted the increased economic cooperation and trade relations between our countries. Both our countries have identified key sectors for investment to boost economic growth and development.
“These sectors include manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure development, mining, energy and tourism.
“We also confirmed our wish that the negotiations on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are concluded in a manner that restores stability to economic and financial markets,” he said.
The UK was South Africa’s sixth largest global trading partner in 2017, with total trade at R79.5 billion.
The UK also remains the key source of long-haul tourism to South Africa, with nearly 448 000 visitors in 2017.
The President said delegates from both sides of the table noted with great satisfaction the strong relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom in wide-ranging areas of cooperation, including energy, science and technology, education, health, arts and culture.
“We recognised that these areas of cooperation are currently at different stages of progress.
“We have directed our Ministers and officials to ensure full implementation of all existing legal instruments for the mutual benefit of our respective countries and peoples.”
In her remarks, Prime Minister May said the UK’s aim was to be the number one G7 investor in Africa by the year 2022.
She said the UK was in full support of South Africa’s drive to attract investment of US$100 billion to create jobs and bolster growth.
“I want to see British companies play a central role in helping [South Africa] achieve your ambitions, helping to create and sustain high quality jobs for the people from both our countries,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the UK’s drive for job creation and economic growth were centred on a strategy that takes science, research and innovation to heart, and this formed part of her bilateral with President Ramaphosa.
“The UK and South Africa enjoy a broad and forward-looking relationship and we have committed today to reinvigorating it for the future. We want to build on a strong foundation of our economic relationship to enjoy the prosperity and security of our people,” she said.