Ramaphosa's trip to Singapore, Vietnam hailed a success

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A handout photograph made available by the South African Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) shows Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the AIDS 2016 Conference in Durban on 18 July 2016.

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's business trip to Singapore was fruitful, the Presidency said on Sunday.

Ramaphosa was on a two-nation working visit to Vietnam and Singapore from October 3 to 7.

READ: Ramaphosa in Vietnam to boost trade ties

“Both working visits were undertaken to consolidate existing bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa and the two countries,” Ramaphosa's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

“The visit to Singapore provided the South African delegation, led by Deputy President Ramaphosa, with an excellent opportunity to learn from the Singaporean model of economic success and the role of state-owned enterprises in advancing economic growth and national developmental objectives of the country.”

Mamoepa said Ramaphosa and his delegation made efforts to unlock future areas of trade and investment as well as to attract Singaporean state-owned enterprises to invest in South Africa through the public-private partnership.

He said Singapore’s state-owned enterprises have contributed significantly, through the sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, to its economic development programme.

“Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly with Singapore being South Africa’s second largest trading partner in the Asean region. By 2014 bilateral trade amounted to R28,9-billion as compared to R23,5bn recorded in 2015. Exports in 2015 amounted to R6,8bn while imports totalled R16,6bn,” he said.

Ten South African companies had a total capital expenditure of R1,67bn between 2003 and 2015 in Singapore. During this period, a total of 987 jobs were created in the industry, hotels and tourism, financial services and ICT sectors.

According to the market database, "four foreign direct investment projects from Singapore were recorded up to March 2016 with a capital expenditure amounting to R246,06-million, creating 223 jobs” he said.

“Deputy President Ramaphosa utilised the working visit to Singapore to secure a commitment of Singapore to assist South Africa with skills development and to increase the number of training courses for South African students offered under the Singapore co-operation programme,” Mamoepa said.