Press Release

11 July 2013

Deputy Minister Fransman concludes Bilateral Consultations with his Polish counterpart

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman hosted the Official Visit of the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Poland, Ms Beata Stelmach, on 10 July 2013.

The Protocol on Political Consultations signed in September 1995 mandates the Ministers or Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs in both countries to meet at least once a year to review bilateral relations and strengthen bilateral cooperation in political, economic, trade, scientific, technological, cultural fields and exchange views and coordinate efforts on regional and international peace, security and development issues of common interest.

The bilateral consultations served as a preparatory meeting for the Official Visit of the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to South Africa in October 2013.

Deputy Minister Fransman and Undersecretary Stelmach also reviewed the status of  bilateral relations and have agreed that the strengthening of bilateral relations between their countries is critical in advancing their national development priorities and common multilateral interests. In this regard, they  have agreed to pay particular attention to the implementation of priority Agreements and the conclusion of outstanding Agreements.

Deputy Minister Fransman and Undersecretary Stelmach have also spoken about exploring cooperation in areas such as trade and investment; science and technology; education and skills development (especially vocational and technical training); and infrastructure development, Maritime cooperation; agriculture and minerals and energy.

“Our meeting has further reinforced our joint commitment to strengthening cooperation and continuing to exchange views on regional and global peace and security, as well as global governance issues”, said Deputy Minister Fransman.

South Africa and the Poland enjoy cordial and growing bilateral relations and both countries are important partners in the context of the South Africa and Africa-EU partnerships.

Furthermore, South Africa and Poland have shared experiences of transitions to democracies and shared values of freedom, human rights, and democracy.

Former President Nelson Mandela and H.E. Lech Walesa, leaders of the two countries’ democratic struggles, were acknowledged for their meaningful contribution in this regard.

These shared values and experiences provide a strong platform for the strengthening of bonds of friendship and mutually beneficial and complementary bilateral relations between two leading emerging economies and strong democracies in Africa and Central Europe.   

Total trade between South Africa and Poland grew from R 2.6 billion in 2006 and to R6.3 billion in 2012. Imports from Poland on the other hand, increased from R1.3 billion in 2006 to R4.6 billion in 2012. 

South African companies have shown considerable interest in the Polish economy with significant investments in Poland’s beverages, paper, furniture, manufacturing/retail and distribution sectors, including media and communications, amongst others.

A number of Polish companies are investing and exploring investment opportunities in the aviation, cosmetics, glassware, hospitality, heavy industrial equipment, mining and pharmaceutical sectors. 

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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