Media Statement

12 November 2015

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to undertake a working visit to the Russian Federation

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is in the Russian Federation on a working visit where she is scheduled to co-chair the 13th session of the annual South Africa-Russia Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Mr Sergey Donskoy, on Thursday, 12 November 2015, in Moscow.

The ITEC serves as a framework for economic and trade relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation and focuses on the following sectors: trade, investment and banking; mineral resources; energy; transport; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; water resources; education; justice and constitutional development; business; and tourism.

The ITEC takes place within the ambit of the bilateral agreement that was signed in 1999 to give impetus to the political commitment between the two countries to broaden and deepen their relations. These engagements are further guided by the Treaty of Friendship and Partnership signed in September 2006, as well as by the Declaration of Strategic Partnership signed in March 2013 in Durban, South Africa.

The 13th ITEC Session is expected to follow up on the discussions of the last 12th ITEC Session that was successfully hosted by Minister Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria, South Africa, in November 2014.

The main objective of the 13th ITEC session is to take stock of what has been achieved so far under this structured bilateral economic cooperation mechanism between these two strategic partner countries and to further deliberate on other possible areas of cooperation.

Whilst in Moscow, it is expected that Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will also hold bilateral talks with her counterpart, Mr Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

The bilateral relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation are good with more impetus being given to this relationship through ITEC and at the multilateral level through BRICS and other multilateral fora.

South African exports increased from R1. 4 billion in 2009 to R3.9 billion in 2014. Total imports from Russia reduced to R768 million in 2010 from a peak of R3.5 billion in 2009 and recovered to R4.9 billion in 2014.

There has been a substantial growth in total trade between the two countries from 2009 to 2013 (from R3.6 billion to R7 billion).

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will be supported by officials from government departments who represent the various sectors of the ITEC Sub-Committees.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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