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President Zuma arrives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to boost social-economic and political ties

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president of south africa

25 August 2013

President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on an official visit to boost political, economic and social ties with the South East Asia country which has long-standing historical ties with South Africa.


The two countries enjoy warm, political social and economic relations. Malaysia was one of apartheid South Africa’s most vocal critics in Asia, and traditionally maintained close ties with the African National Congress (ANC).


Malaysia lifted people-to-people sanctions against South Africa at the end of 1991 and a liaison Office was established in Pretoria towards the end of 1992. The country lifted all remaining diplomatic, trade and economic sanctions against South Africa with effect from 25 September 1993. Full diplomatic relations were established on 8 November 1993 and the South African High Commission in Kuala Lumpur was opened in 1994. The visit thus celebrates the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and a free democratic South Africa.

The visit will boost cooperation in business, trade and investment and will also serve to promote South Africa as a viable destination for Malaysian tourists, business and investments. The meeting of the South African-Malaysian Business Forum will enable leading South African businesspersons to interact with their Malaysian counterparts in order to identify opportunities for business in sectors of mutual interest.


Malaysia remains the largest investor in South Africa from the Southeast Asia region through Malaysian companies such as Petronas and the Golden Hope Group, to mention but two. The following South African companies have offices in Malaysia: Denel, Nando’s Chicken, SASOL, and Sanlam. South Africa wishes to see further Malaysian investments in South Africa.


South Africa wishes to explore cooperation in public enterprises skills development, energy science, technology and innovation as well as defence amongst other areas.


The visit will also boost people to people ties further, building on existing ties in education, culture, art and sport which have been strengthening steadily. Since 1994, Malaysia has assisted more than three hundred South Africans in their studies that range from short but focused courses to full scholarships for degrees in engineering and information technology.  A number of South African universities have signed Memoranda of Understanding with their Malaysian counterparts.


Among the highlights of the visit will be the awarding of an Honorary Doctorate of Leadership from Limkokwing University as a sign of recognition and respect for South Africa and the President. The honour will add to a number of honorary degrees awarded to President Zuma such as those from the Universities of Medunsa(Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, 2001), Fort Hare (honorary Doctorate of Literature, 2001), Zululand (Honorary Doctorate of Administration, 2001)  University of Zambia (Honorary Doctorate in Law, 2009), Peking University, People’s Republic of China (Honorary Professor of International Relations, 2012),   the American University of Nigeria, (Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy), Southern University in Houston, Texas ( honorary degree in Human Letters, 2011) and the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin (Honorary Doctorate, 2011).


Another major highlight will be awarding of a Lifetime Award for Global Peace to former President Nelson Mandela from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation. President Zuma will receive the award on former President Mandela’s behalf.


President Zuma is accompanied by Mr Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency; Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Public Enterprises; Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Ben Martins, Minister of Energy and Dr Zweli Mkhize, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province.




A.       List of signed Agreements


– Air Services Agreement signed on 5 January 1993

– Trade Agreement signed on 7 March 1997

– MOU on Defence Co-operation signed on 12 November 1996

– Agreement Governing the Exchange and Protection of Classified Information in the Field of Defence signed on 26 June 1997

– Agreement on Merchant Shipping and Related Maritime Matters signed on 7 March 1997

– MOU between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of the Republic of South Africa concerning the Establishment of a Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation signed on 2 September 2003.

– Agreement between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of South Africa concerning Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation signed on 2 September 2003.

– Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income signed on 26 July 2005

– MOU on Agricultural Co-operation signed on 12 July 2007

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