MEDIA STATEMENT

03 July 2012

Deputy Minister Ebrahim to co-chair South Africa-Chile joint consultative mechanism meeting

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will co-chair the 4th South Africa-Chile Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) meeting with his Chilean counterpart, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Fernando Schmidt, in Pretoria on 06 July 2012.

Issues to be addressed during the meeting will include global issues such as multilateral cooperation and regional developments. South Africa is a major foreign investor in Chile and will use the opportunity to address bilateral issues pertaining to cooperation in trade and investment, public works, and the avoidance of double taxation, amongst others.

During his visit, Vice Minister Schmidt will present a public lecture on Chile and the Pacific Rim’s relationship with both South Africa and Africa at the Institute for Global Dialogue in Pretoria on Thursday 5 July 2012.

South Africa and Chile signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Consultations on Issues of Common Interest in November 1998.

The previous JCM meeting between Chile and South Africa took place in Chile on 31 July 2008.

The JCM continues to serve a constructive purpose in the ongoing political dialogue between the two countries at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels

Relations with Chile are cordial and can be characterized as mutually supportive and amicable. For some years, South Africa’s relations with Chile were conducted from Buenos Aires, Argentina, until an Embassy was opened in Santiago in March 1974. Relations were however, never formal until the appointment of a Chilean Ambassador to South Africa in October 1991.

South African companies regularly participate in large international mining exhibitions that take place in Chile (EXPOMIN, EXPONOR, and Electra Mining Exhibition). South Africa remains one of the largest foreign investors in the Chilean mining sector.

The trade balance between South Africa and Chile is currently in favour of Chile. A proposed Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a Joint Bilateral Trade and Investment Commission is currently being finalised between the two countries that would assist in the equalization of trade balances between South Africa and Chile.

In addition, an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between the two countries has been negotiated and is ready for signature, which, when implemented, will make investments in South Africa more attractive for Chilean business.

Trade figures:

Exports to Chile

2008: R 546 314 661

2009: R 446 718 467

2010: R 450 454 011

2011: R 604 083 784

(Minerals, chemical fertilisers, sulphate, iron, flat-rolled products of steel, insecticides, fruits, nuts, and other edible part of plants, acrylic, alcohol. Steel amount to 61, 6% of total exports).

Imports from Chile

2008:  R1 234 161 897

2009: R   861 737 835

2010:  R   579 329 403

2011:  R  834 622 926

(Primary and semi – processed metal, chemical and agricultural (herbicide/insecticide) sectors).

In the aftermath of the devastating February 2010 earthquake in Chile, DIRCO facilitated a humanitarian donation of R500 000 from the South African Government which was routed through the Chilean Red Cross.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Road

Rietondale

Pretoria

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa