President Mbeki to host Indonesian Counterpart President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Pretoria - The South African President Thabo Mbeki will host his Indonesian counterpart President Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on a State Visit to South Africa scheduled to take place from Saturday – Tuesday, 15-18 March 2008.

The aim of the visit is to further strengthen and deepen the good relations existing between South Africa and Indonesia. The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral, political and trade issues. They will also review progress on priority areas identified during the visit of President Mbeki to Indonesia in 2005 and subsequent visits by both the Vice President and the Deputy President. It is envisaged that several agreements will be signed to further consolidate the existing relations.

Since President Mbeki’s visit to Indonesia in 2005, progress has been made in building a solid base for close cooperation on the areas that the two Heads of State identified as priority areas. These include: Trade and Investment, Finance and Banking, Tourism, Agriculture, Arts and Culture, Education, Science and Technology and Security. This is reflected in the exchange of high level visits between Ministers, Premiers and Senior Government Officials. Consequently, the inaugural Joint Commission Meeting between the two countries was held on 25 - 26 February 2008 in Batam, Indonesia.

During President Mbeki’s visit to Indonesia in 2005, the Asian and African countries at the Asia-Africa Summit adopted a framework for Inter-Continental Solidarity to be defined by focus on Human Resource Development, Economic Cooperation and exchange of information. The two leaders as co-chairs of this initiative which was translated into the New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership (NAASP) will also review progress in preparation for the next Asia-Africa Summit which is scheduled to take place in 2009, in South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA AND INDONESIA TRADE RELATIONS

The two-way trade of South Africa and Indonesia has expanded by 18% to USD 641.7 million in 2006, in comparison with 2005. The trade between the two countries is annually increasing at about 15+%, however, the trade figure is significantly in favour of Indonesia, as is the case with nearly all South Africa’s trade partners in Asia.  

South Africa’s main exports to Indonesia are: pulp of wood; base metals and steel articles; chemicals; machinery/mechanical/electrical equipment; fruits and fruit juices.

South Africa’s main imports from Indonesia are: machinery and appliances; plastic products; palm oil; textile and textile articles and chemicals.

South Africa and Indonesia have concerted their efforts to explore areas of co-operation. The Indonesian National Agency for Export Development (NAFED) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) are very active in facilitating Indonesian business in a number of trade promotion and exhibitions in South Africa. Meanwhile, South African companies such as DigiCore, Skyriders, Fresh World, Explochem, Denel, AEL, Standard Bank, several wineries, such as KWV, Distell International, Cape Bay, De Wetshof, etc., are active in exploring opportunities in Indonesia.

As part of efforts to consolidate trade agreements and addressing impediments in trade relations, South Africa and Indonesia launched the Joint Trade Commission (JTC) meeting in May 2006. The JTC is tasked with reviewing existing trade relations, identifying obstacles and barricading effective flow of trade between the two countries.   

Media Programme for State Visit to South Africa of Indonesian President Susolo Bambang Yudhoyono, Monday 17 March 2008

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

17 February 2008

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