Pretoria- President Jacob Zuma will on Monday undertake a two-day State Visit to Algeria at the invitation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Presidency announced on Sunday.
“The objective of the visit is to further strengthen and consolidate the strategic and historical bilateral relations between the two countries,” spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.
The two presidents will have discussions on important regional and global issues of mutual concern, as well as to review the status of bilateral relations when they co-chair the 6th Session of the Binational Commission of Cooperation (BNC).
South Africa and Algeria enjoy excellent bilateral cooperation through the framework of the South Africa-Algeria BNC which has centred the bilateral interaction between the two on the following key areas such as quality of life and human resources; people to people relations; energy and infrastructure; natural resources; defence, safety and security as well as and trade and investment.
In addition to further consolidating these areas of cooperation, the 6th Session of the BNC according to Maharaj will cement collaboration in the areas of agriculture; energy; higher education; telecommunications and information technology; labour and social security; health; tourism and transport among some.
Algeria is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the region and bilateral trade has grown progressively over the last few years, thus providing great potential to further enhance trade and investment co-operation.
Located in the fertile coastal plain of North Africa, Algeria through its National Investment Plan (NIP) is seeking to diversify its economy away from its dependence on hydrocarbon exports by developing, inter alia, its mining, agro-processing and infrastructure sectors.
“Algeria is seeking to develop and diversify its economy through the NIP, which is valued at approximately US$262 billion for the period 2015-2019 and presents numerous opportunities for South African companies,” said Maharaj.
Algeria is also a strategic partner in the North Africa region, accounting for 32% of total trade in 2014.
Total exports to Algeria were valued at R1.8 billion, whilst total imports from Algeria were valued at R86 million.
President Zuma will be accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Telecommunications and Postal Services’s Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.