Press Release

15 November 2012

Deputy Minister Fransman hosts Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Marius Fransman and Mr Joe Costello, the Minister of State for Trade and Development of Ireland, meet in Cape Town today, 15 November 2012, to co-chair the third session of the South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum.

The Partnership Forum was established in 2004 with the signing of a Declaration of Intent aimed at placing bilateral relations on a coherent and structured footing.  Since then, it has met twice, in 2006 in South Africa and in 2009 in Ireland.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Ireland are excellent and, in this context, the Partnership Forum will provide the opportunity to the two sides to review a wide range of political, economic and social issues, both bilateral and multilateral.

The parties will also review the current development cooperation programme with Irish Aid in South Africa which comes to an end this year.  In addition, they will consider a new three year programme, from 2013 to 2016, bearing in mind South Africa’s development priorities of education, health, rural development, fighting crime and corruption, and job creation.  The South African side will also use the opportunity to highlight the Presidential Infrastructure Programme, including its focus on job creation.

Discussions will further focus on promotion of the African Agenda.

The two sides will take the opportunity to share views on the global economic situation, including the Eurozone crisis, and its effects on their respective economies. They will pay specific attention to strategies to improve trade levels, also in the context of job creation.

South Africa is a net importer of Ireland’s goods and services. South Africa’s basket of imports from Ireland is dominated by value-added goods (R4,6 billion) and its exports to Ireland are mainly primary goods and commodities (R1,2 billion in 2011).  Total tourism from Ireland was 29,098 in 2011.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +27 82 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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