South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday hosted Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany who is on an official visit to the country.
According to the presidency, Scholz’s visit “is of great importance due to the strategic nature of South Africa’s relationship with Germany” which have strong bilateral trade relations.
It said Ramaphosa and Scholz exchanged views to enhance cooperation in areas such as energy and climate change, trade and investment, and responses to Covid-19 and vaccine demand.
They also reflected on developments on the African continent and internationally, including the conflict in Ukraine and its impact on the international economy and food and energy security, the office added.
Germany also holds the G7 presidency for 2022 and, in this context, the leaders exchanged views on Germany’s G7 priorities and “how these could benefit emerging economies and the African continent in particular,” the presidency said.
“Germany is South Africa’s second largest trading partner, and in tourism, it is the third largest single source of overseas arrivals,” it said.
Trade and investment are major components of these bilateral relations, with South Africa’s total trade with Germany totalling US$18 billion and its imports, a big percentage of which consist of value-added products, accounting for US$10 billion annually, the presidency said.
In addition, some 600 German companies are represented in South Africa and are a source of investment, employment and skills development, the office added.
“Germany is also a major investment source and development partner,” it said, adding that Scholz would join Ramaphosa later on Tuesday for the launch of a South African-German consortium that would advance technology research for the production of sustainable aviation fuels.