Joint Press Statement at the First Malaysia-South Africa Joint Commission Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, 23 June 2004

The first Malaysia -South Africa Joint Commission was held in Kuala Lumpur from 21-24 June 2005. The Malaysian delegation was led by the Hon, Dato' Seri Syhed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, while the South African Delegation was led by Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa. She will also call on the Hon. Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, on 24 June 2005.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia in his opening remarks warmly welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa and members of her delegation to Malaysia. He also expressed his satisfaction at the state of cooperation and relations between the two countries and stressed the importance of the Joint Commission as a platform for Malaysia and South Africa to review and take stock of the progress of bilateral relations and collaboration. He also stated that the Joint Commission provides both sides with the opportunity to consult and discuss strategies on how best to enhance and strengthen cooperation and collaboration between Malaysia and South Africa.

The Foreign Minister of South Africa, in her opening remarks, expressed her sincere gratitude towards Malaysia for their exceptional hospitality in hosting the first JCM in Kuala Lumpur. She also noted with appreciation Malaysia's support in bringing about democracy in South Africa's democracy by brining major investments into the country. She recognized the contribution made by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in opposing apartheid South Africa and later promoting close co-operation with the post-apartheid South Africa.

She also recognized the importance of South-South co-operation in providing the impetus for a warm, friendly and solid relationship. The Minister recognised the role of Malaysia as Chair of the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (IOC) under the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minster Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. She also stated that developing nations need to act collectively in confronting international issues such as the reform of the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, the promotion of fair global trade regimes or any other multilateral issues that hinder developing countries in their paths to sustainable economic development, social justice and an equitable world order.

The First Malaysia-South Africa Joint Commission Meeting was held in an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation. Discussions were frank and open, reflecting the close relationships that exist between the two countries. The Joint Commission reviewed the development and progress in bilateral relations and cooperation and discussed various issues of mutual interest as well as possible new areas of cooperation.

The Joint Commission further discussed amongst others, issues of trade,k investment, double taxation agreement, commodities, infrastructure, higher education, science and technology, information/radio/television, tourism, transportation, oil and gas, technical cooperation, defence and culture and sports between both countries.

The Ministers concurred on the need for both sides to intensify further cooperation and collaboration in the areas identified and encouraged each other to enhance their participation in trade and investment. They also expressed the hope that the private sectors of both countries continue to play and increase their role in these endeavours.

Malaysia and South Africa agreed that the 2nd Malaysia-South Africa Joint Commission Meeting would be held in South Africa on a date to be mutually agreed upon by both countries.

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


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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa