Media Statement

05 May 2012

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to visit Germany and Finland

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will undertake a working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany and Finland.

The Deputy President will be in Germany from 08-09 May 2012. Whilst in Germany, Deputy President Motlanthe will attend the 7thSouth Africa-Germany Bi-national Commission (BNC). Deputy President Motlanthe will be accompanied by Cabinet Ministers and Senior Officials whose departments are part of the BNC.

The South Africa-Germany Bi-national Commission is a structured dialogue established in 1996 to coordinate bilateral relations between the two countries.  The 6thsession of the Commission took place in South Africa in April 2010 and was co-chaired by Deputy President Motlanthe and the then German Vice-Chancellor, Guido Westerwelle.

The Bi-national Commission will discuss, inter alia;  the further deepening of bilateral relations between the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Republic of Germany; current issues facing both the African continent and the Eurozone; and trilateral cooperation between the two countries in the continent in the context of the African Union’s Post Conflict and Reconstruction Development (PCRD) programme.

In order to boost the trade and commercial relations between the two countries, the Deputy President and accompanied by Cabinet Ministers, will interact with prominent SA
-German companies during the South Africa-Germany Business Seminar, scheduled to be held in Munich.

Germany is ranked the 4thlargest export destination for South Africa and a major source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  Over 450 German companies have invested in South Africa in such critical sectors as the automotive and chemical industries, as well as mechanical and electrical engineering.

Similarly South Africa remains a popular destination for German tourists. In 2011 more than 230 000 tourists from Germany visited South Africa representing a growth of 9.3%from the previous year. Germany is South Africa’s second largest source of tourists after the UK outside the African continent.

On 09-10 May 2012 Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will undertake an official visit to Finland at the invitation of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen. The Deputy President will be accompanied by Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Naledi Pandor and Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mr Ebrahim I Ebrahim.

The objective of the Deputy President’s visit to Finland is to reinvigorate the political and economic relations between the two countries in order to advance South Africa’s national priorities, enhance the African Agenda and exchange views on multilateral issues of common interest.

Deputy President Motlanthe will, during his visit, hold courtesy meetings respectively with the Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomoija.

For further information, please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +2782 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation

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