Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to host Five Swedish Ministers to South Africa

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane together with the Ministers of Trade, Dr Rob Davies, National Planning, Mr. Trevor Manuel and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene will, on Thursday, 9 May 2013, host a Joint Ministerial Breakfast meeting with her Swedish counterpart, Mr Carl Bildt who will be accompanied by the Swedish EU Affairs Minister, Ms Birgitta Ohlsson, the International Development Cooperation, Ms Gunilla Carlsson, Finance Minister, Mr Anders Borg as well as the Trade Minister, Ms Ewa Björling.

During the bilateral meeting the Ministers will assess the state of relations between the two countries and exchange views on developments on the African continent and the multilateral arena. The Swedish delegation will also pay a courtesy call on Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on the 10 May 2013.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Sweden have a strong historical basis. Since 2000, relations between the two countries have been effectively managed through the Bi-national Commission (BNC) co-chaired at the level of Deputy President/Deputy Prime Minister. The last session of the BNC was held in October 2011, in Sweden. The BNC covers the areas of foreign affairs, trade and investment, ICT, energy and vocational education. The next BNC is scheduled to take place in South Africa in October 2013.

Sweden is one of the important investors in South Africa with more than 100 companies creating around 30 000 jobs. During the period 2003 - 2013, Sweden invested in 14 projects in South Africa, across range of sectors. With total capital investment estimated to the tune of R2.04 billion, creating over 1807 jobs. Furthermore, a large percentage of Sweden’s investments were directed to the following subsectors; Automotive OEM, Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Servicing, Business Services, Design, Development & Testing and Sales, Marketing & Support.

Sweden is also an important export market for the South African wine industry with South Africa being the 2nd largest exporter of wine to Sweden. In addition, Sweden is a source of long-haul tourism market for South Africa. In 2012 more than 40 000 Swedish tourists visited South Africa.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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