Minister Dlamini Zuma to Hold Discussions with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Cape Town
Cape Town – South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will, on Thursday 19 February 2009, hold bilateral political, economic and trade discussions with her Mexican counterpart Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa at Groote Schuur House in Cape Town.
The bilateral discussions will take place within the context of South Africa’s priority to strengthen relations with Latin America with a view to consolidating the developmental agenda and deepening South-South cooperation. Issues on the agenda of discussions between Minister Dlamini Zuma and Secretary of State Espinosa are expected to include, among others:
- The status of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries as well as ways in which to strengthen these focal areas;
- Enhanced co-operation between the two countries in the fields of science and technology, culture, tourism, trade and inter-parliamentary relations;
- Increased Mexican support for the African developmental agenda;
- A briefing on developments in Africa as well as Latin and South America including the impact on the global financial crisis on these emerging and developing markets; and
- Issues of mutual interest including the comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council and climate change.
Minister Dlamini Zuma and Secretary of State Espinosa will, on conclusion of discussions, sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Establish a Bi-National Commission and an Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income. The establishment of a Joint Bi-National Commission (BNC) would allow both countries the opportunity to review bilateral cooperation projects and to identify cooperation in new areas.
Alongside South Africa Mexico is one of the five developing countries invited to participate in the G-8 outreach sessions held on the margins of the annual G-8 Summit. Mexico is also currently fulfilling its tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council 2009-2010. Bilaterally, 2009 marks the commemoration of 15 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. South Africa opened its Embassy in Mexico City in 1994.
Secretary of State Espinosa is expected to depart from South Africa on Friday 20 February 2009.
Bilateral economic relations
Mexico is South Africa’s third largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean after Brazil and Argentina and South Africa is Mexico’s largest trading partner in Africa. Trade between the two countries has been growing at a steady pace. There is a noticeable development in the increase of diversification on traded goods and most importantly, trade between the two countries is complementary.
Main exports to Mexico are iron and steel products, machinery and equipment, metal ores, chemicals, cereals, and raw hides and skins. Imports from Mexico include wheeled tractors, machinery and equipment, paper and paperboard and chemical products.
Another significant step in relations was the signing of the Technical Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Social Development in 2006. This agreement enables South Africa to learn from Mexico’s “Oportunidades” / (Opportunities) programme, a highly successful and world leading Social Welfare programme. This all indicates that South Africa and Mexico are countries with similar challenges and that we can learn from each other on how to deal with these challenges in order to improve the lives of our people.
Tourism between the countries is growing - approximately 1500 visa applications from Mexico and other Central American countries traveling to or through South Africa were processed during the period March to October 2008. South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is being used to create a sizeable interest in visiting South Africa before, during and after the 2010 soccer world cup.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
℅ Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
18 February 2009