Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sue van der Merwe to hold Discussions with Finnish Minister of Trade and Development Cooperation

Pretoria – South African Deputy Foreign Minister Sue van der Merwe will on Monday 2 March 2009 hold bilateral discussions with the Minister of Trade and Development Cooperation of Finland Dr Paavo Väyrynen at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Deputy Minister van der Merwe participates in the meeting within the context of South Africa’s commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation with Finland in particular and the Nordic countries at large.

Issues on the agenda of the meeting include amongst others:

  • South Africa-Finland strategic partnership;
  • the domestic political situation in both countries;
  • Zimbabwe; and
  • the United Nations Security Council

South Africa – Finland Bilateral Relations

South Africa and Finland share excellent bilateral relations. Finland has provided South Africa with unequivocal support which manifested in its assistance in various forms for the anti-apartheid struggle.

Finland also recognised the importance of the reconstruction and development period in South Africa and, in relation to their economic means; their contribution in this regard has been sizeable. They also supported South Africa in multilateral fora, such as the European Union and the UN.
 
As a result of South Africa's growing regional and international stature, internal stability and economic growth, Finland has been keen to explore ways to expand the existing relationship.

On 8 June 2000 South Africa and Finland signed a Declaration of Intent to facilitate bilateral consultations between Finland and South Africa on a regular basis.

The Declaration makes provision for meeting on senior officials’ level between the Department and the Finnish Foreign Ministry every second year.  Meetings have taken place in November 2001; June 2003; April 2005 and June 2007. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in mid-2009.

The meetings have resulted in closer ties in a number of areas, especially information technology.

Development Cooperation between South Africa and Finland
 
Existing Commitments and Disbursement Plan of bilateral and regional cooperation for 2006-2011:

  • COFISA : EUR3 000 000  with Department of Science and Technology;
  • INSPIRE : EUR4 077 000  with Department of Communication;
  • SAFIPA : EUR3 000 000  with Department of Science and Technology;
  • BIOFISA (regional) : EUR3 000 000  with Department of Science and Technology;
  • SADC ODL (regional) : EUR3000 000  with SADC; and
  • A regional Science Park Programme being explored with DST

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853


Media Programme

Monday 02 March 2009

10h50 Arrival of media for photo opportunity ahead of commencement of meeting between Deputy Minister van der Merwe and Minister Väyrynen

Venue: Union Buildings
Room 230
Pretoria

(Please present press cards)

Contact: Thembela Ngculu on 082 387 5611

11h20 Photo opportunity

11h30 Arrival of media for a joint press conference and signing of agreements between Deputy Minister van der Merwe and Minister Väyrynen

Venue: Union Buildings
Room 230
Pretoria

(Please present press cards)

Contact: Thembela Ngculu on 082 387 5611

12h00 Joint press conference and signing of agreements between Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe and Minister Väyrynen

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

01 March 2009

 



 

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