President Thabo Mbeki to Depart for Chile, Tuesday, 7 - Wednesday, 8 June 2005

South African President Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad, Minister Mosiuoa Lekota and Deputy Minister Lindiwe Hendriks will depart for Chile on Monday, 06 June 2005 where he will pay a State Visit scheduled for Tuesday - Wednesday, 7-8 June 2005.

Issues on the agenda of discussions between President Mbeki and his counterpart, President Ricardo Lagos Escobar, scheduled for Tuesday, 7 June 2005, are expected to include, among others:

· The status of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries and ways of expanding already strong relations;
· The co-operation between South Africa and Chile in advancing the developmental agenda of the South;
· The operationalisation of the institutions of the African Union (AU) and the implementation of NEPAD projects in order to explore possible future co-operation between Africa and South America;
· Co-operation of the defence forces with the focus on the areas of peacekeeping and disaster management;
· People-to-people co-operation through culture, sport and academic exchanges;
· The reform of global governance including the United Nations and all its institutions;

President Mbeki will, on Wednesday 8 June 2005, address a joint sitting of both Houses of Congress - the Senate and Chamber of Deputies - in Valparaiso.

On Tuesday, 7 June 2005 President Mbeki will be declared the Guest of Honour of the City of Santiago at the City Hall, in a ceremony hosted by the Mayor, Raul Alcaino and attended by mayors and municipal leaders in Chile and diplomatic representatives following which President Mbeki will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Chile.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Rapid growth in recent years has seen large foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into Chile. It is estimated that about US$8 billion in FDI is related to companies with South African links, like Anglo-American and Liberty - Mutual.

While South Africa is a modest market for Chilean exports, South Africa is, by far, Chile's largest African trading partner with 60 percent of Chile's exports to Africa destined for South Africa. Bilateral trade between South Africa and Chile is concentrated in the primary and semi-processed metal, chemical and agricultural (herbicide/insecticide) sectors. The top export from South Africa by far is steel and steel products, which amounts to 61,6 percent of total exports.

 South African ExportsSouth African ImportsTotal Bilateral Trade
2004US$85 700 000US$48 000 000US$133 700 000
2003US$57 7000 000US$58 200 000US$115 900 000
2002US$46 946 674US$36 423 070US$83 369 744
2001US$52 999 000US$32 941 000US$85 940 000

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
5 June 2005

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