President Mbeki to host President of Czech Republic in Pretoria
- South African President Thabo Mbeki will host his counterpart from the Czech
Republic President Václav Klaus for bilateral political and economic discussions
at the Union Buildings during his State Visit to South Africa on Tuesday 12 December
President Klaus's visit to South Africa will be the first ever State
Visit, by a Head of State from the Czech Republic and Head of State from a Central
European country. President Klaus will visit Pretoria and Cape Town while in South
Africa from Tuesday - Wednesday 12-13 December 2006.
President Mbeki will
host his counterpart within the context of South Africa's priority to strengthen
South Africa - European Union relations. Historically, and as a new member state
of the European Union (EU) the Czech Republic is playing a constructive role in
development projects in Africa.
Issues on the agenda of discussions between
Presidents Mbeki and Klaus are expected to include, among others:
status of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries including
the increase of bilateral trade and investment and co-operation in the fields
of culture, education and science and technology;
- Conflict resolution
and peacekeeping in Africa;
- A briefing on developments in the EU and an
exchange of views on the proposed South Africa - EU partnership; and
of multilateral and global concern including the comprehensive reform of the United
Nations and South Africa's accession to the non-permanent seat on the UN Security
Council 2007-2008, as well as the Czech Republic's candidature as a non-permanent
member of the UN Security Council for 2008-2009.
The following agreements
are expected to be signed on conclusion of discussions between Presidents Mbeki
and Klaus on Tuesday 12 December 2006:
- Agreement on Economic Co-operation
of Understanding between the National Research Foundation of the Republic of South
Africa and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic on Science and Technological
- Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation between
Chambers of Commerce and Industry in South Africa (CHAMSA) and the Economic Chamber
of the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic is represented in sub-Sahara
Africa by eight missions. As a new member of the EU it is playing a constructive
role on the Continent. The country provides between 50 - 60 scholarships to sub-Sahara
African countries. For 2005/2006 six scholarships were granted to the African
Union's NEPAD programme to students to study agriculture. Its top priority is
the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally
agreed development commitments. In this context, it regards the New African Initiative
(NEPAD) as one of the good examples of a regional initiative.
Economic diplomacy is one of the fundamental tools
for developing the Czech Republic's external economic relations and export promotion
activities. Accession to the EU improved the conditions for the Czech Republic's
foreign trade and it has become the country with the fastest-growing foreign trade
in the EU. Within the EU, the country's advantageous geographical location makes
it an optimal distribution point for the whole of the EU and has encouraged foreign
Trade figures indicated that South Africa remains the Czech
Republic's biggest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and in Africa as a whole.
Nearly 40% of its total trade with the region takes place with South Africa.
few South African multinationals, i.e. SABMiller, Mondi and Sappi are active in
the Czech Republic.
Plzensky Prazdroj a.s, a subsidiary of SABMiller plc,
is the leading beer producer in Central Europe and the largest exporter of Czech
beer to more than 50 countries world wide. The group's brands include the premium
international beer, Pilsner Urquell as well as an exceptional range of market
leading local brands. By volume SABMiller is the second largest global brewing
company worldwide with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60
countries across five continents. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of
the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
There has been
a steady increase in trade between South Africa and the Czech Republic since 1994.
The bilateral trade for 2005 amounted to US$292,8 million, in favour of the Czech
Republic with a bigger increase in Czech exports to South Africa.
African exports are represented by 33, 49% machinery and transport equipment,
28.5% raw materials (wool, synthetic fibres and paper pulp, 19, 72% consumer goods,
and 10.79% foodstuffs). South Africa's imports from the Czech Republic consist
mainly of automatic data processing equipment, motor vehicle spares and parts,
fruit, iron and steel, chrome ores and medicaments.
- Exports to South Africa: US$71,9 million
2004 - Imports from South
Africa: US$132,9 million
2005 - Export to South Africa: US$157,8
2005 - Imports from South Africa: US$134,9 million
a2004: US$204.8 million
a2005: US$292,8 million
2004: -60,9 million
aaaaaaaaa 2005: 22.8 million
Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic
a member of the EU and of the international community of democratic and economically
developed countries, the Czech Republic conducts and provides its own International
Development Co-operation at both bilateral and multilateral levels. The country's
international development cooperation is based on partnership principles, efficiency
and transparency. The country is convinced that the improvement of partnerships
at national regional and global levels is essential, as efforts to mobilise greater
domestic and international resources for development in the least developed countries
are still considered insufficient.
Of the Czech development assistance,
1.1% of their GDP is earmarked for Africa and it is increasing every year. It
has approved a plan for the long-term channelling of international development
cooperation into the following priority countries: Angola, Zambia, Vietnam, Mongolia,
Yemen, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and medium-term
priority countries: Namibia, Malawi, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Republic's involvement in Africa
The Czech Republic supports the "Global
Partnership for Development" and efforts to find a solution of the debt problem
for poor countries, limiting of agricultural subsidies and creating freer conditions
for trade. The country attaches great importance to the development dimension
of the international trade relations, and believes that the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) Generalised System of Preferences is one of the most important instruments
for the strengthening of the collaboration and further improvement of market access
especially for LDC's.
Angola: Czech-Angolan relations grew in intensity
over the years and Angola, as one of the world's least developed countries (LDC's),
is among the Czech Republic's eight foreign development cooperation priority countries
for 2006-2010. In its development cooperation with the country, the Czech Republic
focuses on the agriculture an education sectors. Development of the agricultural
sector is essential, both for balanced economic development and for poverty reduction
in the country.
Zambia: Identified as one of the priority countries
for long-term development cooperation due to high level of poverty and low level
of human development. In line with the MDGs and the international efforts to reduce
child mortality; improve maternal health and combat HIV and Aids, malaria and
other diseases the Czech Republic concentrates on the development of the health
Namibia: One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Czech development
aid in Africa. Various development projects are ongoing, such as assistance to
families affected by HIV and Aids; support for the development of agricultural
studies, university scholarships; and environmental impact projects.
Republic of the Congo (DRC): As the country moves towards political and economic
stability, bilateral relations with the DRC have deepened and new room has been
created for economic co-operation. The Czech Republic took part in the creation
of a security framework for the presidential elections by training Congolese police
instructors. Czech observers remain in the UN MONUC mission in the country.
The Czech Republic supports the efforts by the international community to achieve
a peaceful solution to the conflict in Sudan. It actively supports the EU policy
on Sudan and is providing financial assistance towards resolving the humanitarian
crisis in the Darfur region.
Programme for State Visit to South Africa by President of the Czech Republic Václav
Klaus, Tuesday 12 - Thursday 13 December 2006
Issued by Ronnie
Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
11 December 2006