Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to undertake an official visit to Turkey, 24-26 May 2010.

Pretoria
-Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Kgalema Motlanthe will undertake an official visit to Turkey scheduled from 24 to 26 May 2010.

The visit to Turkey comes within the framework of strengthening North-South relations and expanding the already sound bilateral relations between the two countries. During his visit Deputy President Motlanthe will have bilateral consultations with his counterpart, Prime Minister Erdoğan, during which discussions are expected to focus on the expansion and consolidation of political and economic relations; promotion of the Government’s key priorities; The African Agenda; discussion of multilateral issues including the UNSC issues, the Middle East Peace Process, Climate Change and the G20.

Formal relations between South Africa and Turkey were first established at consular level in 1991 and then upgraded to ambassadorial level in 1992 and the SA Embassy was opened in Ankara in 1993. Relations between the two countries have grown significantly and there exists potential for further enhancing political and economic cooperation.

South Africa and Turkey have extensive trade and economic relations.  Trade balance between South Africa and Turkey continues to be in South Africa’s favour. South Africa's most important exports to Turkey are gold, bituminous hard coal, catalytic converters, hides and skins and fresh fruits.  Turkey’s most important export products to South Africa are automotive equipment, machinery, sanitary ware, rubber outer tyres for motor vehicles.

The Turkish economy is the 17th largest in the world and is South Africa’s largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe.

Trade figures are as follows:   2004 2005 2006 2007 2008(R’000)          
SA EXPORTS 1,016  1,475 2,411 2,041 4,098
SA IMPORTS 1,266   2,004 3,273 4,914 6,462
TOTAL TRADE 2,282 3,479 5,684 6,955 10,560

In pursuance to the objective of promoting and supporting trade and commercial relations between South Africa and Turkey, the Deputy President will during his visit, address the South Africa-Turkey Business Forum scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey’s leading trade and commercial centre. This business meeting will be attended by prominent business representatives from both South Africa and Turkey.

The Deputy President’s visit in Turkey coincides with the celebration of the Africa Day on 25 May. In this regard the Deputy President will deliver a lecture at the Ankara University, at an event organised by the African Diplomatic Group in Turkey.

The Deputy President will be accompanied by five Ministers and Deputy Ministers, including Mr. Ebrahim Ebrahim, Deputy Minister of International relations and Cooperation. Deputy President will also be accompanied by a high profile business delegation.

For more information contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647 or email: molobis@dirco.gov.za

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

21 May 2010.

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