Media Statement

09 October 2022

Minister Pandor to co-chair the inaugural Korea – South Africa Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) and pay a Working Visit to Japan

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will visit the Republic of Korea and the State of Japan from 10 – 13 October 2022, where she will co-chair the inaugural Korea – South Africa Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) and the Japan – South Africa Partnership Forum, respectively.

Minister Pandor and her counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Mr Park JIN, will co-chair the JCC in Seoul, with a focus on ensuring that the multi-faceted, bilateral relationship is placed on a strong footing at the political, economic, social and technical levels.

Minister Pandor will also use her visit to the Republic of Korea to have a meeting with the captains of big businesses, including the representatives of various business chambers. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 11 October 2022, ahead of the Joint Cooperation Commission.

Formal diplomatic relations between South Africa and Korea were established in December 1992, two years after the release of Mr Nelson Mandela from prison. This year marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa – Korea diplomatic relations.

South Africa features as Korea’s largest trading partner in Africa, while Korea is South Africa’s fourth largest trading partner in Asia. Total trade between the two countries has been growing steadily and amounted to R47,8 billion in 2021. South Africa’s exports to Korea have demonstrated an upward trajectory over the years, from R16 billion in 2011 to R31 billion in 2021.

In Tokyo, Japan, Minister Pandor and the Foreign Minister, His Excellency Mr Hayashi Yoshimasa, will seek to advance political, economic, social and technical cooperation between South Africa and Japan. The two Ministers are also expected to exchange views on regional, global and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Japan, the third largest economy in the world (in terms of nominal GDP) after the United States and China, is one of the major and continuous investors (over R90 billion) in the South African economy. Japan has a current presence in South Africa of 286 companies, sustaining approximately 200 000 local job opportunities.

New investments into the South African economy by Japanese companies include those made by Toyota (R4,28 billion), Nissan (R3,2 billion) and Isuzu (R1.2 billion).

Minster Pandor’s visit to both Korea and Japan is aimed at elevating South Africa’s bilateral relations with the two east Asian countries, focussing on enhancing economic cooperation and political dialogue.

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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