Minister Dlamini Zuma to host Russian Counterpart, Minister Yuri Petrovich Trutnev

Pretoria: South African Foreign Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will on Monday, 24 July 2006 co-chair with her Russian counterpart, Minister Yuri Petrovich Trutnev, Minister of Natural Resources, the Joint ITEC Inter-Sessional Meeting between South Africa and the Russian Federation at the Diplomatic GuestHouse in Pretoria.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will be supported amongst others by South Africa's representative to the Russian Federation, Ambassador Langa and the Head of the ITEC Task Team Mechanism, South African Director-General of the Minerals and Energy Department, Advocate Sandile Nogxina and other senior government officials.

This Joint ITEC Inter-Sessional Meeting is convened a week after the G8 Summit in St Petersburg, Russia where President Thabo Mbeki led the South African Delegation to the Outreach Session of the Summit.

Central to decisions of the G8 Summit was the call for 'an achievement of concrete and properly assessed results, taking into full account the perspective and needs of countries assembled at the Summit". Thus, the Joint ITEC Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation between South Africa and the Russian Federation takes place within this context. South Africa's participation at the G8 Summit also came within the context of the country's commitment to promoting North - South co-operation with a view to advancing the developmental agenda of Africa in particular and the South in general.

WHAT IS ITEC ?

ITEC is the most important mechanism underpinning bilateral relations for mutual political and economic interests between South Africa and the Russian Federation. During the November 2004 consultations in Pretoria, the two co- chairpersons agreed that a mechanism should be established that monitors and ensures implementation of decisions between sessions of ITEC.

ITEC consists of the following Joint Sub Committees between the two countries:

  • Minerals and Energy
  • Trade, Investment and Banking
  • Science and Technology
  • Transport - Aviation and Maritime
  • Social Sector - Health and Education
  • Agriculture
  • Water Affairs and Forestry

It is inspiring to note synergies between the outcomes of the G8 Summit and some of the specific areas that ITEC is seized with:

On Energy: The G5 in its document, presented to the Outreach Session, of which South Africa is a member " expressed concern at the negative impact of soaring energy prices on developmental efforts in recent years and expressed its favour in the establishment of an international energy order that is fair, equitable, secure, stable and to the benefit of the entire international community.

The G5 further supported an inclusive dialogue on energy capable of creating a political environment conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes through consultation.

This has been the approach that both South Africa and Russia had been articulating with regards to the situation pertaining to Iraq and Iran.

WHAT WILL BE THE FOCUS OF THE JOINT ITEC INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING

Both co- chairpersons will expect reports from the group of senior officials on solid progress achieved in the various sub- committees since the last session in Russia in November 2005.

Both Minister Dlamini Zuma and Yuri Trutnev will also hold bilateral discussions prior to the plenary sessions which are expected amongst others to :

  • Reflect on the Outcomes of the G8 Summit as they impact on the Consolidation of the African agenda.
  • Situation in the Middle East
  • Developments within the African Union and progress on NEPAD
  • Bilateral trade and investment issues.
  • Conflict resolution and challenges facing the African continent , ie. The forthcoming DRC Elections scheduled for 30 July 2006, the Burundi Peace Process, Cot'd' Ivoire etc
  • Developments within SADC

KEY MILESTONES OF ITEC

  • There have been 5 ITEC Sessions thus far.
  • The Inaugural Session was held in Moscow from 28 - 30 April 1999 during former President Nelson Mandela's state visit
  • The second session was held on the 18- 21 November 2002 in Pretoria
  • The third session took place in Moscow from the 8 - 12 November 2003.
  • The fourth session was held in South Africa from 17- 19 November 2004 and the
  • Fifth session was held in Moscow on the 3 - 5 October 2005.

At the last session answering a call by Minister Dlamini Zuma during the Inter-sessional July 2005 Meeting in Pretoria, a strong South African media contingent visited the Russian Federation in its quest to "promote stronger contact and co-operation between the Russian and South African peoples. Several journalists from different media houses covered the ITEC Programme including its Business Summit.

Economic bilateral relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation

Main export commodities from Russia are fertilizers, ferrous metals, machinery and equipment, whilst the main export commodities from South Africa are citrus plants, fruit, coal, artificial graphite and cellulose. During the 5TH ITEC Session, South Africa's BEE entities held meetings with prominent Russian entities including Norilsk Nickel, Renova, Lukoil etc.

The increased interaction between the respective entities could lead to more substantial companies of Russian companies in South Africa.

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 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Programmes, the joint venture company United Manganese of Kalahari ( UMK) and the Russian Renova Group has been established in order to co-operate on prospecting, mining and processing of manganese ore in the Kalahari basin.

MEDIA PROGRAMME

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag x 152
Pretoria
0001

23 July 2006




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