Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to Co-chair the 5th Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation between South Africa and Russia in Moscow, Russia , 3-6 October 2005

Tshwane : South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will on Monday, 03 October 2005 travel to Moscow, Russia to co-chair with her Russian counterpart, Minister Yuri Petrovich Trutnev, Minister of Natural Resources, the Fifth Session of the Joint Inter-governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) meeting on Wednesday and Thursday 5 – 6 October 2005 in Moscow, Russia. Senior government officials and a strong business delegation will accompany Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The Fourth Session of ITEC between South Africa and the Russian Federation took place in Tshwane, a year ago; from 17–19 November 2004.

ITEC is the most important mechanism regulating bilateral, political and economic relations between South Africa and Russia. During the November 2004 consultations in Tshwane, the two co-chairpersons agreed that a mechanism should be established that monitors and ensures implementation of decisions between sessions of ITEC.

Joint subcommittees between South Africa and the Russian Federation will consider amongst other fields, the following areas:

  • Minerals and Energy
  • Health
  • Trade and Industry
  • Science and Technology, and
  • Agriculture

Bilateral Discussions between Ministers Dlamini Zuma and Minister Yuri Trutnev, are expected to focus among others on:

  • Developments within the African Union and NEPAD
  • Bilateral trade and investment issues
  • Conflict resolution in Africa
  • Developments within the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • Developments regarding the Middle East Peace Process

Agreements to be signed will include:

  • Agreement on Co-operation in the Field of Maritime Transport
  • Memorandum of Understanding( MoU) between the Hartbeeshoek Radio Astronomic Observatory (HartRAO) and Puschino Radio Astronomical Observatory (PRAO)
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Science and Technology between the Department of Science and Technology( RSA) and the Joint Institute on Nuclear Research (Russian Federation)

ECONOMIC BILATERAL RELATIONS

A strong South African business delegation will also travel to Moscow to participate in a Joint Business Summit between South African and the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry alongside the Fifth Session. Various representatives from mining, construction, transport, health and other sectors will participate in the Business Summit.

Both countries have expressed a strong need to increase the levels of trade between them. Thus, the convening of the Business Summit is a concrete expression of this commitment. South African Businesses with interests in Russia include, Anglo American, Standard Bank, De Beers, Protea Hotels, Barlow World, Capespan and the Bateman Group.

In line with South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment Programme, companies such as Sekoko Resources, Ehlobo Resources, JMM, MvelaHoldings, Mtjholi Resources, Ngwane Mining, Kumba Resources, Pitsaya se Setshaba and Khami Mining will also participate in the Business Summit to promote economic relations.

MEDIA EXCHANGE CO-OPERATION

Heeding a call made by Minister Dlamini Zuma in the July 2005, inter-sessional meeting in Tshwane, to the media to "promote stronger contact and co-operation between the Russian people and South Africans", several journalists representing an array of South African media houses, left South Africa last week as part of a media exchange programme. The South African media will also cover the Fifth Session of ITEC, as well as the Business Summit.

Issued by Nomfanelo Kota on 082 459 3787

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag x 152
Pretoria
0001

02 October 2005

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