Media Statement

11 December 2019

Deputy Minister Botes to host bilateral consultations with his Italian counterpart

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, will co-chair the inaugural meeting of the South Africa-Italy Bilateral Consultations with his counterpart, Ms Emanuela Del Re, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in Pretoria on Friday, 13 December 2019.

The Bilateral Consultations will be utilised to reaffirm South Africa’s partnership with Italy in a variety of fields, including defence, education, science and innovation, trade and investment and arts and culture.

A number of multilateral issues, such as the partnership between the African Union and the European Union, South Africa’s priorities as Chair of the AU in 2020 and Italy’s priorities as host of the COP26 Climate Change Conference, will also be discussed.

South Africa and Italy have concluded a number of important agreements over recent years. These include agreements in the areas of science and technology, water management and defence cooperation. A number of new agreements are being considered.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Italy has reached, on average, R44 billion per annum. A number of major Italian companies have invested in South Africa. Just over 66,000 Italian tourists visit South Africa every year and these numbers are increasing, aided in part by direct Alitalia flights between Rome and Johannesburg.

The expansion of economic and tourism relations will be a key focus of this year’s Bilateral Consultations.

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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460 Soutpansberg Road
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