Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to co-chair sixth session of SA-Germany Bi-National Commission on 9th April 2010, Pretoria

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will co-chair the Sixth Session of the South Africa – German Bi-National Commission (BNC) with his counterpart Dr Guido Westerwelle, Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany on the 9th April 2010 in Pretoria.

The Sixth Session of SA-German BNC takes place within the context of promoting North-South relations and strengthening the already solid structured bilateral relations between the two countries.

The BNC consists of six committees i.e.:
- Science and Technology (co-chaired by Science and Technology),
- Development Cooperation (co-chaired by National Treasury),
- Environment (co-chaired by Environmental Affairs),
- Trade and Investment (co-chaired by Trade and Industry),
- Culture (co-chaired by Arts and Culture),
- Defence (co-chaired by
Amongst others the BNC will focus on the following priorities areas:

• Greater coordination of efforts to promote peace and stability in Africa through conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction.
• Economic and Political cooperation
• Highlight the importance of climate change as an overarching issue
• Development cooperation including environmental and climate protection and renewable energy
• Health care HIV/AIDS and prevention and control
• Preparations on 2010 Fifa World Cup; and
• Other issues of mutual interest

Since 1994, bilateral political relations with South Africa have developed into close high-level cooperation. There is wide agreement on a whole range of fundamental issues. South Africa is one of Germany’s most important political partners in sub-Saharan Africa. The German-South African Bi-national Commission in particular has provided a framework for bilateral cooperation since 1996.
The South African-German Bi-National Commission was formed in 1996 and was co-chaired by the then Deputy President Mbeki and his then German counterpart, Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Klaus Kinkel, in 1993 Deputy President Jacob Zuma, and the former Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor, Joschka Fischer and Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma co-chaired with Minister Steinmeier the 5th South African-German BNC in Berlin on 23 and 24 October 2006. The wide-ranging relations between the two countries are underlined by regular high-level mutual visits by politicians and parliamentarians.

The successful trade record between Germany and South Africa continued in 2008, with trade worth a total of EUR 12.6 billion compared with EUR 11.5 billion in 2007. In 2008, Germany remained South Africa’s principal trading partner, ahead of the USA and Japan. In the first half of 2009, however, a change in the ranking of South Africa’s main trading partners became apparent, with China overtaking Germany and the USA. Germany now ranks second, with total imports and exports worth approximately EUR 4.2 billion in the first six months of this year. South Africa ranks seventh among the most important overseas buyers of German goods.

Germany is a major direct investor in South Africa with an investment volume of nearly EUR 4.3 billion (figure for 2007). The main investments are in the automotive, chemical and mechanical and electrical engineering sectors. Some 600 German companies have set up operations in South Africa and employ a total workforce of over 90,000. Some of these companies are among the country’s most important and most modern producers. While nearly all major German companies are engaged in South Africa, there are still new opportunities in a growing market, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. But some large German companies, too, are considering further intensifying their activities in South Africa.

Media Programme

Deputy President Motlanthe to host Dr Guido Westerwelle, Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany during a working visit

South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will co-chair the Sixth Session of the South Africa/ Germany Bi-National Commission (BNC) with his counterpart Dr Guido Westerwelle, Vice
Chancellor of the Federal government of Germany, in Pretoria.

Media interested in covering the event are requested to send details for easy access into buildings i.e. name and surname, media house, ID/ passport no. to Nthabiseng Rantau (Presidency) on 082 5705 503

Members of the Media are invited as follows:

Media programme

Friday, 09 April 2010

09:15 : Arrival of media ahead of the arrival of Vice- Chancellor Westerwelle

09:55 : Arrival, received by Deputy President Motlanthe
Photo Opportunity

10:00 : Tete-a-tete between Deputy President Motlanthe and Vice-Chancellor Westerwelle

10:50 : 6TH SA-GERMAN BI-NATIONAL COMMISSION

Media in attendance for opening remarks

12:00 : Signing of Agreements and Press Conference
Media in attendance

Remarks by Deputy President Motlanthe

Remarks by Vice-Chancellor Westerwelle.

13:45 : Arrival of media ahead of meeting between Minister Maite Nkoana- Mashabane and Vice-Chancellor Westerwelle

Photo Opportunity

14:15 : Meeting between Vice-Chancellor Westerwelle and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Venue: Minister’s boardroom
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale

Contact: Nthabiseng Ramatshela on 082 675 0893/ ramatshelan@foreign.gov.za

15:00 : Press Conference

End of Media Programme
For further info please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy Kgomotso Saul Molobi on 082 940 1647

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001
08 April 2010

 

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