President Jacob. G. Zuma to undertake an official visit to the Russian Federation

South Africa’s President Jacob. G. Zuma will undertake an official visit to the Russian Federation scheduled for 5-6 August 2010. The visit will be the first visit by President Zuma to Russia, following the State visit of former President Putin in 2006.

The visit takes place within the context of strengthening North-South cooperation with the aim of consolidating cooperation and partnership on culture, education and skills development.  
During the visit discussions between President Zuma and his Russian counterpart will focus, among others, on the following issues:

  • Agreement to enhance bilateral relations through the establishment of a Mechanism for Presidential Summit level meetings every two years and Presidential level meetings on the margins of international organisations and fora;
  • Commitment to strengthen Parliamentary Cooperation;
  • Strengthen economic relations;
  • Reinvigoration of bilateral relations, with a strong political commitment to increasing economic, commercial and technical cooperation, particularly in areas relevant to South Africa’s national development priorities and Russia’s Modernisation Programme (i.e. agriculture, defence, education and skills development, energy, mining, science & technology, trade and industry, tourism, etc.).

Russian federation has played a major role in global geopolitics and economics through its permanent membership in the UNSC, membership of the G8, G20 and BRIC. Russia shares a number of core values with South Africa such a commitment to the rule of international law, multilateralism, human rights, democracy and equality. This converge of public policy pronouncement often translates into a convergence of views between Russia and South Africa in multilateral and bilateral discussions.

Given the similarities of development challenges in South Africa and Russia, (especially poverty and inequality, quality of education and health, challenges of HIV and AIDs, etc.) it is expected that the two Presidents may reinforce the importance of a development partnership for MDG promotion between the two countries. Education, being a precondition for sustainable and human development and a catalyst for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals, the outcome of the Summit was an endorsement of a joint statement in which participants renewed their commitment to the provision of universal primary education, in fulfilment of Millennium Development Goal 2.

During the visit the two Presidents are expected to sign amongst others the following agreements:

  • MoU between the South African Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency on Cooperation in the Field of Earth Observation
  • Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Plant Quarantine
  • and  an  Agreement on Regarding the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic or Service/Official Passports

Trade Relations

Russia offers huge opportunities for trade and investment partnerships especially in minerals (including mineral beneficiation), energy, agriculture, education and skills development, capital equipment, financial services, infrastructure development, automotive sector, tourism and hospitality industry, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment etc.

In 2009 Russia was South Africa’s 44th export destination, 31st source of imports and total trade amounted to R5.1 billion. SA FDI in Russia was estimated at US$ 325 million (August 2009) mainly in mining, metals, financial services, wood products, and chemicals. Russia FDI was estimated at US$ 1, 209 billion (August 2009) mainly in financial services, minerals, ICT and aerospace.

President will be accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Minister of Higher Education and Training; Minister of Energy; Minister of Mineral Resources; Minister of Science and Technology; Minister of State Security; Minister of Trade and Industry; Minister of Transport and Minister of Tourism. The President will also be accompanied by a strong business delegation covering from the following sectors: Agro-processing, Aviation, Banking and Finance, Defence and Aerospace, Energy, Engineering, ICT, Infrastructure (Construction), Logistics, Medical and Health Services, Machinery, Tourism.

President Zuma and delegation will return to South Africa on 7 August 2010.
For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on +27 82 940 1647, +27 341 0083 or email him at molobis@dirco.gov.za.

Issued by Department of International Relations and Cooperation
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria
0001

30 July 2010

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