Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to co-chair SA-Mexico Bi-National Commission in Mexico, 19 April 2010

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will co-chair the inaugural session of the South Africa – Mexico Bi-National Commission (BNC) with her Mexican counterpart,  Secretary Patricia Espinosa in Mexico City on 19 April in 2010. The Ministerial segment of the BNC will be preceded by a Senior Officials meeting from 16 -18 April 2010.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Establishment of a Bi-National Commission between the two countries was signed in February 2009. The Bi-national Commission is an important mechanism for constructive engagement and dialogue between the two countries, both at a political, bilateral and multilateral co-operation level.  The inaugural session of the BNC underscores the significance of the maturing relations between Mexico and South Africa.

The following Departments will be participating in the BNC:

-       Social Development
-      Trade and Industry
-      Science and technology
-      Arts and Culture

In addition to a number of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding South Africa and Mexico also signed an Avoidance of Double Taxation and Fiscal Evasion Agreement in February 2009 in an attempt to ensure free trade flow between the two countries.

Beyond political and trade relations, the two countries have recognised the significance of people-to-people contact as a means of strengthening the existing relations. To promote this goal, the two countries signed a Cultural Cooperation Agreement (CCA) in 2005.

Mexico is SA’s third largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean whilst SA is Mexico’s largest trading partner in Africa. Mexican exports to SA include, amongst other products, wheeled tractors, nuclear reactors, machinery and equipment, boilers, paper and paperboards, metal ores and slag and ashes, organic chemical products, beverages, vinegar and spirits, glass and glassware, smelting, iron and steel. SA’s exports to Mexico include; cereals, raw hides and skins, leather, spirits, aluminium and articles thereof, tanning and dying extracts,  vehicles, automobiles, tractors, products of chemicals and related industries.

Trade Figures 2009

EXPORTS

IMPORTS

R1.21 Billion

R 2.25Billion

In 2010, Mexico celebrates 200 years Independence and 100 years of the Mexican Revolution. Mexico will also be hosting the World Youth Summit from 27-29 August 2010 and it is expected that South Africa will participate at the event. Similarly, Mexico is to host COP 16 in December 2010, followed by SA hosting COP 17 in 2011.  Mexico already hosted an informal meeting on 17-18 March 2010.  SA was represented at this meeting and it is expected that SA and Mexico will engage on climate change issues as the conference nears. 

President J Zuma has extended a written invitation to Mexican President F Calderon to attend the opening game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between SA and Mexico on 11 June 2010.  SA’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is being used to create a sizeable interest about the country. The Embassy in Mexico City is partnering with travel agencies in promoting SA as a tourist destination.

For more information contact Mr Mahlatsi Mmineli on 082 8899 432

Issued by the Department International Relations and Cooperation.

Private Bag X152

Pretoria, 0001

16 April 2010

 

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