President Zuma to receive their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway for a State Visit, 24 - 26 November 2009.

Pretoria- South African President Jacob Zuma, supported by Minister for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Collins Chabane as Acting Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande; Minister of Energy, Ms Dipuo Peters; Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica; Minister of Land Affairs and Rural Development, Minister Gugile Nkwinti; and Minister of Science and Technology; Ms Naledi Pandor, will receive Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway for a State visit in South Africa, scheduled from 24 -26 November 2009.

The visit comes within the context of North-South Dialogue and further maintaining the already strong  bilateral relationship between South Africa and Norway. South Africa and Norway stand together in the promotion and strenthening of democracy, good governance and human rights. Conflict prevention, the search for peaceful resolution of conflicts, and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as alleviating poverty and combating global climate change, are all areas of common concern and commitment and create a sound basis for continued and enhanced cooperation in Africa as well as globally, and especially within the framework of  the United Nations. 

Accordingly President Zuma and King Harald will discuss amongst others:

  • International Relations and Cooperation- Declaration of Intent on Bilateral Cooperation 2010-2014, including the importance of partnerships in Africa and trilateral cooperation and Climate change
  • Education and Science & Technology- Cooperation in higher education and research
  • Energy- MOU to be signed by SASOL and Gassnova and the Norwegian involvement in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
  • Trade and Industry- Cooperation in mutual trade and investments.

BILATERAL RELATIONS 

Relations between South Africa and Norway are extremely good and advanced. Due to their strong support for the struggle towards democracy, a special and unique relationship exists between Norway and South Africa. Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland visited South Africa in 1996, while Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja paid a State Visit to South Africa in 1998. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik paid an official visit to South Africa in 2000 and the latest Norwegian Head of Government to visit South Africa was Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg who paid a working visit to South Africa in 2008.   From South Africa, the then Deputy President Thabo Mbeki visited Norway in 1996 and President Mandela paid a State Visit to Norway in 1999.

During the visit by Prime Minister Brundtland in February 1996 Foreign Ministers Nzo and Godal signed a "Memorandum of Understanding Relating to Joint Consultation and Decision Making in Matters of Foreign Policy".  Further addendums were made in 1999 and 2004. The two countries have together identified, a new framework to guide and focus future bilateral cooperation, enhancing certain sectors that have previously been part of the development cooperation programme. It is envisaged that future cooperation shall be characterized by a new and transformed relationship and mode of cooperation characterised by partnership relationships, on equal terms, where both countries have something to offer, and both countries have something to gain. Shared political and developmental priorities shall form the platform and legitimate basis for future cooperation.  The modalities of future cooperation within the priority areas are envisaged to consist of institutional cooperation, tripartite partnerships, research cooperation and skills training.

ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Fundamental to trade relations between both countries is the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for the import of goods from developing countries that was extended by Norway to South Africa on 6 May 1994. Through this mechanism, goods imported by Norway from South Africa are not submitted to the normal customs duties. These tariff preferences provide an incentive to traders to import products from developing countries like South Africa and helping them to compete on international markets. A number of Norwegian companies are planning to expand their operations in South Africa through increased investment and technology. Norwegian companies have shown interest in joint ventures, expansion of existing operations, buying into local companies, as well as the exploration of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME). Through the matchmaking programme, the Norwegians are willing to assist South African SMMEs that have viable business plans in joint venture operations

Norway's development cooperation contribution to South Africa until the end of 1999 was R60 million per year, totalling R300 million. The total amount disbursed during the period 1994 - 1999 was R 412 574 000. The amount for the period 2005 - 2009 was over R 25 000 000.

South African Exports

2005                                                   R298 828 000
2006                                                   R490 217 000
2007                                                   R1350683000
2008                                                   R1899376000
2009                                                   R  727311000 (June’09)

South African Imports

2005                                                   R448 380 000
2006                                                   R683 397 000
2007                                                   R192890 000
2008                                                   R1544097000
2009                                                   R  554015000 (June’09)

South African Trade Balance

2005                                                   -R149 552 000
2006                                                   -R193 180 000
2007                                                   +R277 793 000
2008                                                   +R355 279 000

For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Doplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag x152
Pretoria
0001

23 November 2009

 

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