Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to co-chair sixth of SA-Sweden Bi-National Commission on 17th March 2010, Cape Town.

His Excellency Deputy President Kgalema Motlantle will co-chair the Sixth Session of the South Africa – Sweden Bi-National Commission (BNC) with his counterpart from Sweden Deputy Prime Minister Ms Maud Olofsson on the 17th of March 2010 in Cape Town.

The Sixth Session the SA-Sweden BNC takes place within the context of solid structured bilateral relations between the two countries and the commitment to enhance the North-South dialogue. The BNC consists of three committees i.e. Political (co-chaired by International Relations and Cooperation), Economic (co-chaired by Trade and Industry) and Social (co-chaired by National Treasury), all chaired at senior officials’ level.  Accordingly the 2010 BNC, which will be proceeded by senior officials meeting on 16 March 2010 will, among others, focus on the following priority areas:

  • greater coordination of efforts to promote peace and stability in Africa through conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction with emphasis beyond SSR and DDR
  • broader economic relations, especially investment;
  • Alignment of the new Swedish Country Strategy for South Africa with South Africa’s national priorities;
  • Discussion on development cooperation relations taking into account the increasing emphasis on future trilateral cooperation and partner driven cooperation;
  • Highlight of the importance of climate change as an overarching issue.


It was agreed during the last session of the BNC in 2007 that the traditional grants-based aid between South Africa and Sweden would be transformed into partner-driven coope­­ration between two equals, where the cooperation is driven mainly by the cooperating partners themselves both from public and private sectors. Both countries will continue to develop institutional collaborations in areas that are jointly defined.

The new collaboration will incorporate institutional partnerships and tripartite co-operation. New forms of collaboration based on long-term commitment in a wide range of sectors have been established. These are closely linked to the dialogue taking place within the political and economic spheres.  Several interesting models have been put into place, including for the cooperation between municipalities, cultural institutions, universities and research institutions as well as for stakeholders within the broader economic cooperation.

The decision to establish the BNC was made during the visit to South Africa by former Prime Minister Persson as a mechanism to coordinate relations between South Africa in Sweden.  The BNC was established in 2000 and has since met in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007.  The Sixth Session has been postponed to March 2010 due to Sweden’s Presidency of the EU in the latter half of 2009.

During the 1990’s the development cooperation between Sweden and South Africa evolved in stages, from humanitarian support via regular development assistance to supporting transformation towards what was called broader cooperation. In addition, Sweden provided support to peace and security related work on Africa through university and non-government institutions in South Africa.

South Africa and Sweden have extensive trade and economic relations.  The trade balance between South Africa and Sweden continues to be in Sweden’s favour. The main trade sectors, both in imports and exports, include manufactured goods, machinery, automotive and transport goods, mining equipment, and chemicals and fuel products.

South African exports to Sweden have increased from R1.046 billion in 2000 to R2.109 billion in 2009 while imports from Sweden increased from R2.902 billion in 2000 to R9.395 billion in 2009. The trade balance between South Africa and Sweden in 2009 was –R7.286 billion.

During her visit to South Africa Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson will pay a visit to the Green Point stadium and a deliver a Lecture at the University of Cape Town.

For more information please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr. Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on 082 940 1647 or email him at

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road

16 March 2010


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