South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma concludes Co-Chairing of the 5th ITEC Session on a Positive Note, ahead of Meetings with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Moscow, Russia, 4 - 5 October 2005

Moscow: South African Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has concluded co - chairing the 5th session of the joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) on a positive note. Minister Dlamini Zuma, who arrived in Moscow, yesterday, 04 October 2005, co-chaired the session with the Russian Minister of Natural Resources, Minister Yuri Petrovich Trutnev. In Moscow, Minister Dlamini Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Mrs Lindiwe Hendricks, senior government officials of various departments, a strong business delegation and South African media representing an array of media houses.

Bilateral discussions were held between the two-Co-chairpersons of ITEC, whilst Minister Dlamini Zuma also met with the Russian Prime Minister, Mr Mikhail Fradkov. On her schedule, tomorrow, Thursday, 06 October,2005, Minister Dlamini Zuma will meet her counterpart, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation.

During the course of the ITEC meeting, the Russian and the South African sides emphasized that that the Fifth session has further strengthened mutually beneficial bilateral co-operation. Both sides agreed that the expansion of their economic relationship should be prioritised and that there is a necessity to determine ways of realising specific opportunities in the fields of trade and economic cooperation.

An intersessional meeting before the Sixth Session of ITEC was agreed upon scheduled to take place in South Africa, during 2006.

Both co-chairpersons expressed their satisfaction with the development of relations covered by the Joint Subcommittees within the ITEC.

Fields of work covered by the Subcommittees included amongst others:

  • Minerals and Energy. In this regard, the parties expressed satisfaction, with the succesful development of a joint project of prospecting, mining and processing of manganese ore of Kalahari deposits. South African and Russian parties confirmed their support and mutual interest in the further implementatin of the manganese project.
  • Science and Technology : In this regard, the parties noted with satisfaction, the signing of a twinning Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) between the Hartbeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) and the Puschino Radio Astronomy Observatory.
  • The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) between South Africa and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research ( JINR/ Dubna) for South Africa to become an associate member of the JINR.
  • Trade, Investment and Banking. In this regard, South Africa undertook to lead a business delegation and hold a trade and investment Fair in Russia in 2006 ;as a way of raising the profile of South Africa - Russia business interactions.
  • The main export commodities from Russia were identified as fertilizers, ferrus metals ;machinery and equipment, whilst the main export commodities from South Africa were citrus plants, fruit, cooking coal, artificial graphite and cellulose.
  • The parties also exchanged information on the performance of their economies as well as investment climates. South Africa offered to share information on its experience in the development of its fiscal policies, restructuring and diversification of its economy and redistribution of equity in the economy.
  • The sides noted with satisfaction, the successful holding of a Business Forum held in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation with the participation of the representatives of business circles of the two countries within the framework of the Fifth ITEC Session.
  • The parties consider the Russian - South African Business Council created by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the two countries, as an important vehicle of the interaction of the business circles and declare their support of its activities.
  • Transport - Signing of the Agreement on Co-operation in the Field of Maritime Transport during this 5th ITEC Session.
  • Water and Forestry Co-operation, including measures to facilitate the sustainable use of water resources, international watercourses, technical and scientific information exchange in the water and forestry sectors and measures to facilitate sustainable forest management.
  • Education:- Following a visit of South Africa's Deputy Minister for Education, Mr Enver Surty, to Russia in January 2005, a visit by the Russian Education Ministry and prominent university rectors to South Africa is planned for 2005/2006.
  • Health : Both South Africa and Russia will continue to work on finalizing the Agreement of Co-operation in the Field of Health and Medical Sciences. Exchange of information on topical issues of healthcare and medical science will also continue.

Conclusion

The Co- Chairpersons congratulated the respective delegations and joint subcommittees for their hard work and on achieving positive results during the Fifth Session of the ITEC.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the ITEC Co-chair of the Republic of South Africa, invited Mr Yuri. P. Trutnev, Minister of Natural Resources and the ITEC Co-chair of the Russian Federation to visit the Republic of South Africa for the Sixth Session of the Joint Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation which is scheduled to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, during 2006.

Issued by Nomfanelo Kota on + 27 82 459 3787

South African Embassy in Moscow
Granatny Pereulok, no.1
Moscow
Russian Federation

5th October 2005

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