Media statement on the President working visit to Canada, to attend the G8 and G20 Summit.

The President of the Republic, H.E. Mr. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, accompanied by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordham and a contingent of senior officials, will depart South Africa tomorrow for Toronto, Canada. The President will participate in the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit on June 26 and June 27. The G20 is a coalition of the world’s foremost developed and developing nations, and South Africa is the only African member-country. The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and world leaders gathering at this Summit will focus on building a healthier, stronger and more sustainable global economy.

The G20 Summit will be preceded by the Group of Eight (G8) Summit, also hosted by Canada, in its Muskoka region from 25-26 June 2010. Canada holds the 2010 G8 Presidency. The G8 Summit brings together the world’s major advanced economies i.e. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since 2001, some of the world’s developing countries have been invited to G-8 Outreach sessions held on the margins of the G-8 Summit. South Africa, amongst others, has consistently participated in these meetings.

South Africa participates in the G8 in the context of the two Outreach programmes, namely the G-8 Africa Outreach (established in Kananaskis in 2002) – which established the African Action Plan that sought to support NEPAD programmes. The second outreach was agreed to at the Gleneagles Summit and sought to focus on multilateral debt forgiveness to Africa and an undertaking to double Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) by US$50 billion in 2010.

It is South Africa’s view that for the G8 to remain relevant and credible in a rapidly changing global environment, it will have to ensure it becomes responsive to the needs and challenges of the developing world. We remain hopeful that there will be a speedy implementation of the recent G8 Summit resolutions, in particular the deployment of resources to salvage vulnerable economies. Last but not least, there is a need to continue our engagement with the G8, in order to continue our dialogue on key political issues and economic policy questions that seek to promote the evolution of an equitable global system of economic governance.

On Thursday June 24, President Jacob Zuma will deliver a keynote address to G20 business leaders, under the theme: “Partnering with Africa’s Dynamic Markets”. His address is expected to call other G20 member countries to continue providing support to African economies as they weather the storm of the latest economic downturn. Furthermore, the President will call on G20 countries and countries of the North to support the economic and political rebirth of a continent recovering from the economic and political vestiges of colonialism and the Cold War; and call on them to support Africa’s infrastructural development, improvement in social services and the integration of its economies.

The President will also use the occasion of his keynote address to G20 business leaders to request them to take advantage of the available trade and investment opportunities in Africa; while at the same time calling on their governments to continue providing Africa with access to their sophisticated markets, innovative technologies and as reliable sources of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). President Zuma will also propose an Africa-G20 partnership that will see FDIs with limited and negotiable conditionalities extended to our continent of Africa.
The President will return to the country on June 28, 2010.

For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr. Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647 or President Zuma’s spokeperson, Mr. Vincent Magwenya on 072 715 0024.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag x 152


June 22, 2010

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