In what new way is foreign policy being aligned with key domestic priorities and departmental contribution to promoting economic development

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 3192  (NW3788E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 33-2011 OF 21 OCTOBER 2011

Mrs C Dudley (ACDP) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

  1. With reference to her department’s new policy White Paper, (a) in what new way is foreign policy being aligned with key domestic priorities and (b) what is her department’s contribution to promoting economic development;
  2. whether her department intends to facilitate national dialogue, across different sectors, including government agencies and business actors, in defining a more precise definition of our ‘national interests’ and how it can best be achieved; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?  

REPLY

  1. (a) Our foreign policy is informed by our domestic realities.  Economic diplomacy is one of the centrepieces of my Department’s interaction with other countries.  This is in order to support the creation of sustainable jobs and scaled up investments in employment-intensive sectors as identified in the New Growth Path.  The draft White Paper on South Africa’s Foreign Policy emphasises that creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world encapsulates and conceptualises our foreign policy.

    (b) My Department supports the economic development of South Africa both through addressing the reform of the international economic environment as well as in the development of mutually beneficial and sustainable trade and investment relations. Economic diplomacy is a priority for my Department. Improvement in our economic growth is central to the realisation of many of our national objectives.

  2. My Department facilitates national dialogue among all stakeholders to reflect on foreign policy.  In addition, the establishment of the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR) will serve as a consultative forum for South African non-state actors and government experts to interact with my Department on the development and implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.
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