Press Release

29 July 2013

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to undertake a Working Visit to Brazil and Argentina

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will undertake a Working Visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Argentine Republic between 30 July and 01 August 2013.

In Brazil, the Minister will co-chair the Fifth Session of the South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission with her Brazilian counterpart, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, on Tuesday, 30 July 2013.

The Joint Commission is a structured mechanism to manage and monitor bilateral relations between the two countries.

It is expected that the South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission will review progress made in the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries over the past few years, as well as explore new avenues aimed at consolidating and strengthening political and economic relations between the two countries.

South Africa and Brazil enjoy strong bilateral relations as symbolised by high level visits and various Agreements signed across a number of sectors since 1994. The relationship between the two countries is also underpinned by a common desire to influence the global agenda in the 21st century in a manner that reflects the aspirations of developing countries.

At a bilateral level, the key sectoral areas of cooperation include trade and industry, science and technology, agriculture and rural development, arts and culture, defence, education and skills development, health, arts and culture, tourism, and environmental affairs.

Brazil remains South Africa's largest trading partner in Latin America. Trade between South African and Brazil has seen steady growth in recent years. However exports to Brazil still represent a small percentage of South Africa’s global exports. South Africa’s top five exports to Brazil include anthracite (coal), precious metals, plastics, aluminium and car engines. The top 5 imports from Brazil include vehicles, meat, sweets and confectionaries, machinery and ore.

On the investment front, Brazil is a latent global foreign investor, with the majority of its investments having been directed toward resource extraction (mining, oil and gas) and construction. Investment into South Africa in the manufacturing sector is still very low but with growing potential.

On 01 August 2013, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will co-host, together with her Argentine counterpart, Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship Minister, Héctor Timerman, the Fourth Session of the South Africa-Argentina Binational Commission (BNC), scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It is expected that the BNC will consider and evaluate progress made in the implementation of key bilateral agreements in fields such as defence cooperation, arts and culture, and Agriculture, and discuss ways to enhance cooperation in all other sectors.

The fourth BNC will also present the two countries with a platform to, amongst other things, share experiences in the UN Security Council as Argentina is currently a non-permanent member for the region for the 2013/14 period.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Argentina are sound and the various common ideals and objectives of the two Governments provide a potential basis for enhanced bilateral relations, as well as for cooperation at the multilateral level.

After Brazil and Mexico, Argentina is South Africa’s third largest trading partner in the Latin America and Caribbean region. South Africa-Argentina bilateral relations are key to creating new trade and investment opportunities.  Such efforts are supported by dynamic economic relations that have been growing over the last few years through a strong expansion of trade and investments.

For more information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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