Media Statement

08 December 2022

Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini to host her Australian counterpart for Political Consultations

The Deputy Minister of International Relations, Ms Candith Mashego Dlamini, will host her Australian counterpart. Mr Tim Watts, for bilateral consultations on 09 December 2022. Mr Watts, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Australia. is currently visiting South Africa as part of his trip to various countries in the African continent.

Since 1994, bilateral relations between South Africa and Australia have grown from strength to strength and the two countries enjoy regular interaction through the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), a Structured Bilateral Mechanism held every two years. The 8th SOM is scheduled to be hosted by South Africa in 2023.

South Africa and Australia have also enjoyed strong historical links, since both are former British colonies, and share similar cultures in terms of sport and language. Both are also members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Current relations are underpinned by strong people-to-people ties. As at 2021 figures, Australia has become home to more than 200,000 South African expatriates.

Trade relations between South Africa and Australia continue to grow. Australia is South Africa’s 23rd largest trading partner, while South Africa is a top 30 trading country for Australia and the largest and most dynamic market in Africa. In 2021, total bilateral trade amounted to R28.6 billion.

In the multilateral arena, the two countries have, over the years, cooperated in various international organisations to advance shared ideals, including in IORA, the G20 and the UN.

Assistant Minister Watts’s visit to South Africa not only serves as an opportunity to reaffirm the strong ties between the two nations, but also provides a chance for the two countries to reflect on the status of relations between South Africa and Australia, as well as to consider other areas for future cooperation – both political and economic.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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