South Africa Keen to Elevate Bilateral Relationship with UK as Starmer Takes Charge: Ramaphosa

South Africa is looking forward to working with Keir Starmer to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and to address current global political and security challenges, the African nation's president said.

In a press statement, Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country will work closely with Starmer to enhance the strong, historic relations between South Africa and the UK.

Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer X

Ramaphosa Congratulates Starmer

The South African president also congratulated Starmer on his appointment to the position of Prime Minister of the UK and Northern Ireland.

In the recent election, Starmer's Labor Party secured 412 of the 650 seats in the UK House of Commons, thus handing the Conservatives their worst defeat in around a century.

Ramaphosa added that South Africa and the UK are strategic partners with a broad and vibrant relationship, led by a commitment to liberal values, democracy and the rule of law.

Moreover, the UK is one of South Africa's largest bilateral trading and investment partners and remains South Africa's number one source of long-haul tourism in the world.

In 2022, the UK exported $2.54 billion worth of goods to South Africa, with a 2.82 percent annualized rate of decrease over the past five years.

On the other hand, South Africa exported $7.85 billion worth of goods to the UK in 2022.

In 2022, President Ramaphosa was the first Head of State to undertake a State Visit to the UK following an invitation from His Majesty, King Charles III.

The State Visit was an important and momentous occasion to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

Keir Starmer: All You Need to Know

A barrister by profession, Starmer was previously the leader of the opposition from 2020 to 2024.

He has also served as a member of Parliament for Holborn and St. Pancras since 2015. Before that, Starmer was the Director of Public Prosecutions from 2008 to 2013.

As the economic crisis continues to pressurise the UK, Starmer, earlier this year, said that he would restore the UK's economic growth and jobs, build more houses and infrastructure, and have better relations with Europe.