Media Statement on Official Visit to the Republic of South Africa by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey

Deputy President Jacob Zuma today held discussions with his counterpart, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Prime Minister Erdogan is the first Turkish Prime Minister to visit South Africa. This official visit is aimed at further enhancing and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

Discussions between the two principals focused on, amongst others, the following issues:

  • The consolidation and expansion of bilateral economic and political relations;
  • Progress made in bilateral relations in the sectors of trade and investment, minerals and energy, defence and security co-operation, restoration of airlinks and expansion of tourism; and
  • Issues of mutual concern including, the elections in Iraq, developments in the Middle East and reform of the United Nations.

Turkey has declared Africa as its priority area for 2005 and its policy, as reflected in the 1998 Action Plan of Opening up to Africa, is aimed at developing relations and enhancing co-operation with African countries in all areas including a comprehensive political dialogue and establishment of bilateral consultative mechanisms.

This visit is therefore viewed as an opportunity through which Turkey's Africa Outreach Plan can be implemented; support sought for Turkey's contribution to conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Africa through the continent's peace and security agenda and NEPAD as Africa's socio-economic programme.

Turkey remains interested in joint ventures with South African construction and engineering entities backed by international funding.

ECONOMIC RELATIONS

The two sides expressed satisfaction with the dramatic improvement in economic and trade relations especially since the last visit to Turkey by the Deputy President in 2003.

Bilateral trade expanded to over R6 billion in 2004, with South African exports of gold to Turkey exceeding R600 million.

South African exports to Turkey (including gold) increased by 205% during January-December 2004 and reached R5,6 billion. South Africa's exports during the same period in 2003 were R1, 8 billion.

Turkish exports to South Africa were R1,1 billion during January-December 2004 an increase of 57% compared to the same period in 2003, during which exports were valued at R677 million.

AGREEMENTS SIGNED:

The following agreements were signed:

1. AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY REGARDING MUTUAL ASSISTANCE BETWEEN CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATIONS

The parties agreed through their custom administration to afford each other mutual assistance:

  • To ensure that the custom legislation is properly enforced;
  • To prevent, investigate and combat customs offences; and
  • In cases concerning the delivery of documents regarding the application of custom legislation.

The agreement seeks to supply assistance of both information and technical nature which may help to ensure proper application of customs legislation and the prevention; investigation and combating of customs offences.

In relation to persons, goods, places and means of transport, the parties agree to maintain special surveillance, and results shall be communicated to each other.

Parties agreed to permit the movement of unlawful or suspect goods out of /through/into their territories under supervision and control of competent authorities with a view to investigating and combating custom offences.

2. TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

The parties agreed to take necessary measures to facilitate and promote trade and economic relations between the two countries in accordance with the respective domestic law in force in their countries and subject to obligations under international treaties, conventions and agreements to which the two may be party.

The parties agreed to grant each other the "Most-Favoured Nation" treatment in accordance with principles under the World Trade Organisation's agreement and its annexures.

Parties agreed to encourage their enterprises and organisations to participate in exhibitions, fairs and other activities and promote the exchange of trade delegation and business representative. They agreed to promote the conduct of trade and economic activities of each's natural and juristic persons in accordance with generally accepted international trade practices.

They also agreed to allow the joint importations of goods and services free from import duties, taxes and levies; and to provide freedom of transit of goods between the two parties.

In relation to payment for goods and services arising out of contracts, there is an agreement that it be made in freely convertible currency in accordance with foreign exchange laws and regulations of the parties.

The parties also agreed on the Establishment of a Joint Economic Commission to promote and facilitate trade and economic cooperation between the parties.

Enquiries: Lakela Kaunda at 082 7822575

Issued by the Presidency, Pretoria.
03 March 2005


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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa