President Mbeki to lead South African Delegation to Indonesia and Singapore

Pretoria - South African President Thabo Mbeki will lead a senior South African delegation to Indonesia on a state visit and to attend the historic Africa - Asia Summit, co-hosted by South Africa and Indonesia, and the Commemoration of the 1955 Bandung Conference from Tuesday - Sunday, 19-24 April 2005.

President and Mrs Mbeki's delegation will include Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mphalwa, Minister of Land and Agriculture Thoko Didiza and Minister of Science and Technology Mosibudi Mangena.

The state visit is from Tuesday - Wednesday, 19-20 April 2005 during which he will be hosted by Indonesian President General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

On conclusion of the state visit, President Mbeki will lead the South African delegation to the Africa - Asia Summit in Jakarta from Friday - Saturday, 22-23 April 2005. On Sunday, 24 April, President Mbeki will attend the Commemoration Ceremony of the 1955 Bandung Summit in Bandung which laid a firm foundation for the Asia-Africa solidarity against colonialism and apartheid.

The Conference will bring together leaders of Africa and Asia as well as the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the context of building and consolidating strategic south-south relations between the two continents.

Both South Africa and Indonesia have played a crucial role in advancing the cause of the South and in the promotion of North-South dialogue. It is significant to note that whilst Indonesia hosted the Bandung Asia Africa Conference of 1955, South Africa was also represented by the ANC in the event. The conference called for world peace and greater respect for individual sovereignty, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. The principles adopted in the form of a resolution became known as the "Dasa Sila".

The opportunity of co-hosting the Asia-Africa Summit has drawn the countries closer and provided a base for a common vision on regional and global issues. Both countries have identified trade, investment and tourism, education, science and technology as well as people to people cooperation as their priorities.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Indonesia can be traced back to the historical Bandung Conference of 1955, where Indonesia provided a platform for, and obtained Asian support for the struggle against apartheid.

A joint commission has been established between the two countries to ensure a more co-ordinated approach in pursuit of common bilateral agreements that have been signed between the two countries and they include:

  • Politics
  • Trade
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Culture

Trade between South Africa and Indonesia has expanded fast (by over 300% since 1993) with the trade balance in favour of South Africa. There exist numerous opportunities for South African companies in the fast-expanding mining, infrastructure and energy sectors (oil and gas). There are also excellent opportunities for co-operation in the forestry sector, as Indonesia is a major producer of hard-wood products and pulp, while South Africa is a world player in soft-wood production and the supply of pulp.

Indonesia is a prominent "South" country, and combined with its strong interest in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR- ARC) and the plight of developing countries is a strong ally in promoting the needs and aspirations of the developing world.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The possibility of establishing joint ventures in the South African textile, forestry and wood-manufacturing sector is being investigated by the Embassy.

South Africa's main exports to Indonesia include prepared foods (i.e. dried fruit, fruit cereal, fruit juices etc.), pulp & paper, while importing the following products from Indonesia: vegetable products, fats & oils, plastics & rubber, timber, pulp & paper, footwear, stone & plaster. The biggest imports from Indonesia are textiles, which in 1998 amounted to approximately US$ 26 million.

Bilateral Trade Statistics (ZA Rand'000) (Source: DTI)

YearSA Exports (ZA Rand'000)SA Imports (ZA Rand'000)Total Trade
1994268,422266,694 535,116
1998500,396 904,8671,405,263
1999781,6921,164,346 1,946,038
20021,055,843 1,929,926 2,985,769
20031,228,433 1,911,6223,140,055

There is increasing investment by South African companies in the vast mineral reserves of Indonesia.

Gencor (Ingwe) is very active, with Iscor, Anglo-American, and Plessey also showing interest. Murray and Roberts has an office in Jakarta and are hoping to obtain civil construction contracts in the infrastructure sector. In addition, Thebe Investment has signed an agreement with Indonesian-owned trading company PT. Prima Comexindo.

One of the biggest SA IT companies, M-Web, has a huge investment portfolio to the tune of US$16 billion in Indonesia.

Programme in Indonesia

AASROC Ministerial Meeting Wednesday, 20 - Thursday, 21 April 2005
AASROC Summit Friday, 22 - Saturday, 23 April 2005
Golden Jubilee Commemoration Sunday, 24 April 2005

Side Events

Asian-African Business Summit Thursday, 21 - Friday, 22 April 2005

Trade Fair Monday, 18 - Friday, 22 April 2005

World Renewable Energy Conference Sunday, 17 - Thursday, 21 April 2005

Asian-African Workshop on the Role of Women and Youth in furthering Asia Africa Co-operation Tuesday, 19 April 2005


President Mbeki will interrupt his visit to Indonesia by paying a working visit to Singapore on Thursday, 21 April 2005 for bilateral political and economic discussions with his counterpart, President SR Nathan.

President Mbeki will also hold discussions with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on conclusion of which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between both countries.

President Mbeki is also expected to receive a courtesy call from Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, meet with Singaporean Captains of Industry and deliver a public address organised by the Singaporean Foreign Ministry and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Economic Bilateral Relations

Bilateral Trade Statistics (ZA Rand'000) (Source DTI)

YearSA Exports (ZA Rand'000)SA Imports (ZA Rand'000)Total Trade
19941,260,470 996,974 2,257,444
1995 1,092,420 1,178,7562,271,176
19961,619,106 1,278,367 2,897,473
19971,108,666 1,187,730 2,296,396
2000 1,581,9391,459,2673,041,206
20012,061,8801,488,177 3,550,057
20021,839,156 2,233,000 4,072,156
20031,796,017 2,155,132 3,951,149

President Mbeki is expected to return to South Africa on Monday, 25 April 2005.


At the conclusion of the state visit and the historic Asia-Africa Summit and the commemoration of the Bandung Conference, Foreign Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will pay a working visit to Japan where she will hold bilateral political and economic discussions with her Japanese counterpart.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will during the visit also have an opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the South African Exhibition stand at the World Expo in Aichi timed to coincide with South African Freedom Day on 27 April 2005 in which she will take the opportunity to thank the people of Japan for their support in the struggle against apartheid.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

14 April 2005

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