Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim to have Bilateral Meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Finland on 30 August 2010

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim I Ebrahim, will hold a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Finland, Mr Jyrki Katainen, who is also Minister of Finance, on 30 August 2010. Deputy Prime Minister Katainen, who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will arrive in South Africa on Sunday 29 August 2010.

Deputy Prime Minister Katainen will also meet with Minister P Gordhan, Minister of Finance, Minister D Peters, Minister of Energy, and Ms G Marcus, Governor of the Reserve Bank.

This visit will strengthen the excellent relations between South Africa and Finland.  Finland provided South Africa with unequivocal support in various forms during the anti-apartheid struggle. Finland recognised the importance of the reconstruction and development period in South Africa and, in relation to the size of their economy; their contribution in this regard has been impressive. South Africa and Finland continue to cooperate in multilateral fora.

The two countries have extensive trade and economic relations. The trade balance between South Africa and Finland continues to be in Finland’s favour. South Africa's most important exports to Finland are paper pulp, dried and fresh fruits, iron and steel and alcoholic beverages.  Finland's most important export products to South Africa are telecommunication equipment, machinery and paper and paperboard products. South Africa is Finland's second largest trade partner in the group of developing countries.

The forthcoming visit takes place within the context of the Declaration of Intent on Bilateral Consultations signed on 8 June 2000; the Declaration of Intent between South Africa and the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on Partnerships in Africa signed on 9 June 2008; and the Declaration of Intent on the Deepening of Bilateral Relations and the Strengthening of Partnerships signed on 2 March 2009.

For more information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on +27 82 940 1647,+27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria

27 August 2010


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