Media statement by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Deputy Prime Minister Ms. Maud Olofsson on conclusion of the SA-Sweden Binational Commission meeting in Cape Town, South Africa

New steps taken to enhance collaboration on energy between South Africa and Sweden

CAPE TOWN- On the 16th to 17th of March, Sweden and South Africa met in Cape Town under the lead of Deputy President Motlanthe and Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson for the 6th Binational Commission. On top of the agenda for discussions were the climate challenge and bilateral energy collaboration.

The Commission highlighted the important role South Africa plays in the continuous process of climate negotiations both as an active African voice and as the host of COP17 in 2011. At the core of discussion was also how Sweden and South Africa jointly can work forward to contribute to the process of reaching a global legally binding agreement on climate.

Sweden and South Africa are good partners in the international community, which gives us good ground for taking joint action on focal issues. Reaching a global agreement on climate is central if we are to fulfil our shared vision of a world which is worthy of its inhabitants and future generations, says Deputy President Motlanthe.

During the meeting Sweden and South Africa took new steps in collaboration on energy by establishing a new Task Team on renewable energy cooperation. The Task Team will identify concrete projects of collaboration within the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy with the aim of contributing to sustainable rural development. The aim is to include both Swedish and South African business in the process.

We are facing challenging times where we have to transform into an eco efficient economy. In achieving that, energy is a crucial area to work with. Energy efficiency as well as renewable energy will not only lower our emissions and costs but also enable for new business opportunities, jobs and economic growth. This cooperation can be a win-win situation in gain for both our countries and the climate, says Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson.

The parties also agreed on that the tripartite cooperation is a successful model that should be extended. That means South Africa and Sweden working together in cooperation with identified African countries on peace initiatives and post-conflict reconstruction.

The Binational Commission had several other issues on the agenda. These included longstanding bilateral ties between the two nations; peace, security and democracy in Africa; the situation in Zimbabwe; trade and business relations and other relevant issues.

Finally, both parties agreed to take further steps to implement partner-driven cooperation as a modality for pursuing outcome-orientated programmes and projects.

Issued jointly by
The Presidency and The Office the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
17 March 2010


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