Press Release

07 March 2014

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to attend inauguration of Chilean President-elect, Michelle Bachelet

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has, today, Friday, 07 March 2014, arrived in Santiago, the Republic of Chile, where she will represent South Africa at the inauguration ceremonies of the new Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet.

The Presidential inauguration ceremonies will take place on 10 and 11 March 2014 in the Cities of Santiago and Valparaiso, respectively.

During her visit to Chile, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will meet with her counterpart, the new Chilean Foreign Minister, Mr Heraldo Muñoz, and also lead the opening ceremony of the new Chancery of the South African Embassy in Santiago.

South Africa and Chile enjoy cordial bilateral relations. The South Africa-Chile Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM), established in 1998, continues to serve a constructive purpose in the ongoing political dialogue between the two countries at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

South Africa remains one of the largest foreign investors in the Chilean economy. South African companies regularly participate in large international mining exhibitions that take place in Chile.

The top exports from South Africa are steel and steel products which amounts to 61,6 percent of total exports.

Although South Africa is a modest market for Chilean exports, South Africa remains by far Chile’s largest African trading partner with 37 percent of Chilean exports to Africa destined for South Africa.

The trade balance between the two countries is currently in Chile’s favour. To address this trade imbalance, a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a Joint Bilateral Trade and Investment Commission was signed in July 2012 between the two countries.

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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