President Jacob Zuma concludes his state visit to Norway: August 30 to September 1, 2011

The President of the Republic, President Jacob Zuma ended his two-and-half days State Visit to Norway this afternoon. In his closing media conference, the President thanked His Majesty King Harald the Fifth and the Queen; the Prime Minister of Norway, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg; and the people of Norway for the wonderful hospitality accorded to his delegation.

The President took the opportunity of his press conference to reflect on the genesis of South Africa-Norway bilateral relations, which he said dates back to the time when “Norway played host to ANC liberation fighters during the difficult times of fighting apartheid”.  He expressed his appreciation for the State Visit to South Africa by His Majesty King Harald and the Queen in 2009, which the President says helped to “spear-head the improvement in the bilateral relations between the two countries”.

In the area of bilateral trade, President Zuma said he was happy that since 1994, trade between the two countries has “grown exponentially”, as aptly demonstrated by the increase from “R746 million in 2005 to R3 180 billion in 2010”.  The President impressed on those in attendance that South Africa was now “exporting to Norway goods worth R2 327 billion in 2010 while importing goods worth R853 million”.

President Zuma said his bilateral interactions with the Norwegian leadership covered important areas of cooperation that ranged from “conflict areas of Africa covering Sudan, Somalia, Libya and to an extent Zimbabwe”.  The visit, he said,  also touched on “multilateral issues such as Climate Change in the process leading to COP17 in Durban 2011; the Reform of the UN Security Council; matters of Disarmament and both countries’ roles within the International Human Rights System”. 

On the bilateral socio-economic front, the President said his discussions sought to focus on bilateral partnerships in the areas of “trade, science and technology, energy, environmental affairs, including education and training”.  On the latter, the President said, a Letter of Intent had been signed that will ensure en exchange between the two countries on matters relating to education and training.

Agreements signed included a Business-to-Business agreement; an Agreement between Stellenbosch University and Storvik Biofloc Research on Fish Farming on Land and at Sea; and an Agreement between the Royal Bafokeng and Veritas DNV (a government institution).

Also forming part of the President’s delegation was a business delegation that comprised of South African business persons who have interacted with the Norwegian counterpart within the context of the South Africa–Norway Business Forum. The basis of these interactions was mainly to encourage bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The key areas of focus remain to explore opportunities in the fields of oil, renewable energy, information and communication technologies, tourism, agro-processing and aquaculture.

The President was accompanied by Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Higher Education and Training, Minister Blade Nzimande; Trade, Minister Rob Davies; Energy, Minister Dipuo Peters; Water and Environmental Affairs, Minister Edna Molewa; and Minister of Tourism, Mr Martinus van Schalkwyk.

Enquiries: Zanele Mngadi on 082 330 1148 or Clayson Monyela on 082 884 5974.


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29 August 2011


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