Malaysia – South Africa relationship worth nearly R20 billion

Kuala Lampur – President Jacob Zuma arrived yesterday in Malaysia, the largest investor in South Africa from the Southeast Asia region. Bilateral trade between South African and Malaysia has been on the increase since 1994, and in 2012 reached R19.7 billion, up from R13.8 billion in 2008.

At the press conference held after the bilateral talks between South Africa and Malaysia, Zuma warmly thanked the Southeast Asian country for 20 years of support and trade.

“While most of the world adopted a wait and see approach in investing in South Africa, Malaysia led the way, he said. “Today Malaysia is the largest investor in South Africa from Southeast Asia and South Africa is one of the largest investor in Malaysia from Africa. We also recognised the increasing global importance of our two regions, Africa and Asia, which today is home to the world’s fastest growing and most dynamic economies.”

President Zuma said the two countries not only acknowledged the reciprocal investments made, but also agreed on further investments and an intensified relationship between the countries, recognising both Malaysia and South Africa as springboards into their respective regions.

Zuma said he encouraged the Malaysian Prime Minister Razak to consider investments in both South Africa’s and Africa’s infrastructure drive.

The South African delegation will in the next 2 days take part in the Malaysia – South Africa Business Forum to find and discuss further opportunities between the 2 countries. Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom are among those who accompanied the President on the trip.

Zuma is also in Malaysia to receive the Lifetime Award for Global Peace from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation on behalf of the former President Nelson Mandela, as well as an Honorary Doctorate Of Leadership from Limkokwing University to honour Zuma’s own work and achievements.

“President Mandela is widely recognised as a global symbol of struggle, the triumph of freedom over oppression and an icon of peace and reconciliation,” he said.

“I would also like to express the deep appreciation and gratitude to the people and government of Malaysia for their steadfast prayers and messages of support for the wellbeing and good health of President Mandela,” he added.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Kuala Lampur)