Press Release

10th SA-UK Bilateral Forum in South Africa

06 September 2013

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her counterpart, Foreign Secretary, Mr William Hague of the United Kingdom, will co-chair the 10th session of the Bilateral Forum scheduled to take place on 10 September 2013 in Cape Town.

The Bilateral Forum is a structured mechanism through which cooperation between South Africa and the United Kingdom is coordinated.  The Forum was established in 1997 and is held every two years at Foreign Ministers’ level, alternating between South Africa and the United Kingdom. The last meeting of the Forum was held in London in June 2011.

At this Forum, a Joint Strategy was adopted by both countries that encompass a five-year programme of action covering the period 2011-2015. The Strategy commits both countries to collaborating on a broad range of areas at the national, regional and international level. Accordingly, the 2013 Bilateral Forum is a mid-term review of the Strategy.

The theme of the 2013 Bilateral Forum will be “Job creation focusing on youth employment”, in support of the national priorities of South Africa. A Youth Empowerment Dialogue will also be held on the margins of the Forum in the afternoon of 10 September 2013.

The United Kingdom is an important trade and investment partner for South Africa. It is also a significant source of long-haul tourists from Europe with close to 440 000 British tourists visiting South Africa in 2012. It is a priority for South Africa to maintain the current level of economic relations and to continue attracting investment in niche areas.

At the Forum, the two countries will have an opportunity to reflect on the development cooperation programme, as well as the visa regime that is applicable. Further, the South Africa-United Kingdom Business Council will be launched, with a view to increasing bilateral business-to-business links.

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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