Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to Co-host 4th Session of South Africa - Sweden Binational Commission, Tshwane, South Africa, Tuesday, 29 - Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Tshwane - South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will today Tuesday 29 November 2005, together with her Swedish counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Bosse Ringholm, co-host the opening plenary of the 4th session of the South Africa - Sweden Binational Commission (BNC) in Tshwane, South Africa scheduled from Tuesday - Wednesday, 29-30 November 2005.

This 4th session of the South Africa - Sweden Binational Commission (BNC) comes within the context of South Africa's commitment to consolidate relations with all countries of the North in the interests of expediting the achievement of the developmental agenda of South, with particular reference to Africa, and the Millennium Developments Goals.

In this regard, the BNC consists of three committees - Political Affairs, Economic Affairs and Social Affairs and Development Co-operation chaired respectively by the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry and National Treasury.

In addition, the Political Committee consists of a Peace and Security Working Group and a Defence Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Committee.

Issues on the agenda of discussions between the South Africa and Swedish delegations are expected to include, among others:

  • The status of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries;
  • African issues including the implementation of NEPAD, the revitalisation of SADC, the status of EU-Africa dialogue and the EU-SADC dialogue, Nordic-Africa informal consultations and the areas of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction viz. the Great Lakes region, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda and Zimbabwe;
  • European issues including EU enlargement;
  • International issues including the situation in Iran, Iraq, Israel and Palestine and Syria; and
  • Multilateral issues of mutual concern including the comprehensive reform of the United Nations.

While in South Africa, Deputy Prime Minister Ringholm is expected to be briefed by Dan Moyo, Deputy Director General: 2010 World Cup Unit in the Department of Sports and Recreation and visit Cape Town where he will, among others, hold discussions with representatives of the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, visit Robben Island and participate in the Volvo Yacht Exhibition.

Deputy Prime Minister Ringholm will depart from South Africa on Friday, 2 December 2005.

Bilateral Economic Relations between South Africa and Sweden

Exports to Sweden for the period January to December 2004 amounted to R1.2 billion, while imports from Sweden for the same period amounted to R4.1 billion.

SA Exports to Sweden

YearSA Exports to Sweden
2000R1 046 906 000
2001R 633 097 000
2002R 751 069 000
2003R 820 345 000
2004R1 200 414 000
2005 (Jan-May) R 644 761 000

SA Imports from Sweden

YearSA Imports from Sweden
2000R2 902 935 000
2001R2 597 472 000
2002R3 337 698 000
2003R3 356 685 000
2004R4 113 526 000
2005 (Jan-May) R2 241 163 000

Source: Department of Trade and Industry

One of the key objectives of the Swedish government's development co-operation strategy with South Africa is the development of economic co-operation between the two countries. To this end, the Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) established the Swedish South Africa Business Partnership Fund (SSBF) in 1999 to promote business to business co-operation between Swedish and South African companies, targeting primarily small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in both countries.

Tourism

One of the largest travel agencies in Sweden started promoting package tours to South Africa with effect from 1 October 2002. The growth in Swedish tourists visiting South Africa is expected to increase in the near future and tourism from Sweden to South Africa has been rising steadily over the past few years.

Number of Swedish Tourists to South Africa

YearNumber of Swedish Tourists to South Africa
200118 576
200223 927
2003 29 381
200432 247

(Source: South African Tourism)

Development Co-operation

The Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) has a long history of involvement with South and Southern Africa through its assistance and support to the liberation movements.

At over a billion rand since 1994, Sweden ranks amongst the top five donors operating in South Africa since 1994. This amount is purely bilateral ODA and therefore excludes Sweden's share in the development programmes of the European Union, UN agencies and other multilateral institutions. SIDA is engaged in a process with the Budget Office of the National Treasury to prepare a project related to public financial management reform and poverty reduction.

SIDA has a number of smaller Agreements that operate under the Overall Agreement on Development Co-operation. These allow Sweden to jointly manage development co-operation to South Africa, with the International Development Co-operation (IDC) section within National Treasury as the key partner on the South African side.

Sweden adopted a new country strategy for South Africa at the end of 2003. The country strategy will be guided by South Africa's development priorities, as articulated in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, the President's State of the Nation address, the cabinet lekgotla and the Estimates of National Expenditure.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Tshwane
0001

29 November 2005

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