DEPUTY PRESIDENT ZUMA TO THE PLENARY
OF THE 2ND SOUTH AFRICAN-SWEDISH BINATIONAL COMMISSION,
10 October 2001
PRETORIA, 10 OCTOBER 2001
Madame Deputy Prime Minister;
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Members of the Swedish and South African Delegations;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I would like to welcome you all to this, the 2nd South
African-Swedish Binational Commission.
Madame Deputy Prime Minister, it is indeed a great
privilege to preside jointly with you over the deliberations
of this important bilateral mechanism between our two
South Africa and Sweden share a long and rich history.
The bonds between our peoples were strengthened during
the difficult years of the struggle against apartheid.
You stood firmly with us in our time of need.
It is this common history and commitment to the building
of a just world order, which has given birth to this
Deputy Prime Minister, let me begin by applauding the
committees for the constructive spirit of co-operation,
which has characterised the preparations for this second
The three committees - economic affairs, political
affairs and social and development co-operation - are
indeed adding value to the efforts of further deepening
We also appreciate Sweden's active development co-operation
support to South Africa, since 1994, which has amounted
to approximately one billion rand. This illustrates
Sweden's commitment and constructive support for the
development needs of South Africans.
The number of joint scientific projects between our
two countries is also increasing, and we are particularly
encouraged by the good progress that has been made in
the exchange of expertise and transfer of technology.
In addition, given the rich and varied cultural heritage
of our two countries, it is also important that we continue
to exchange knowledge and experience in the field of
arts and education.
We believe there is much scope for more investment
by Swedish companies. Most of the sectors we have identified
for investment and export promotion match those in which
Swedish industry has shown strengths.
We also invite you to prioritise investment in our
small and medium sized enterprise sectors, specifically
those sectors that have the greatest potential for much-needed
Madam Deputy Prime Minister, we welcome the fact that
Sweden has ratified the Agreement between South Africa
and the European Union on Trade and Development Co-operation.
We view the Agreement as an important instrument for
furthering trade and investment links between our two
The ratification also creates the right environment
and gives a positive signal to the private sector in
our two countries, and it should encourage our business
sectors to intensify linkages.
We also believe that it is important for us to maintain
dialogue on multilateral trade issues, in particular
on the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Consultation
around the forthcoming conference in Qatar in November
We are also encouraged by the Swedish support for the
African recovery programme, the New African Initiative,
on which you will receive a presentation this morning.
This programme is crucial for Africa's development.
Ladies and gentlemen, South Africa and Sweden share
similar visions of what type of world we would like
future generations to grow up in. It is this fundamental
outlook that forms the cornerstone of our relations.
I am saying this as we are meeting at a time when the
whole world is still shaken by the horrific attacks
on the financial and defence nerve-centres of the United
States of America on September 11.
Let me reiterate that we unequivocally condemn the
attacks, and that we recognise the right of the United
States administration to find those responsible for
those acts of terror and to ensure that they face justice.
We have also welcomed the assurances that care will
be taken in the military offensive to avoid indiscriminate
force against ordinary people of Afghanistan, as well
as the avoidance of the destruction of their economic
and social infrastructure.
Let me also reiterate our position that to defeat terrorism
we must deal with the root causes, such as conflicts
especially in the Middle East, poverty and underdevelopment.
In that vein, we hope that the fight against terrorism
will not lead to a diversion of resources away from
the developing world, where they are needed for programmes
that will ensure lasting peace and stability.
Your Excellency, once again, welcome to our country.
We expect a fruitful engagement over the next two days.
We value this co-operation with you, as it will assist
us to be able to realise our goals of ensuring a better
life for all our people.
It will also contribute to the strengthening of our
democracy, and ensure stability and growth.
I thank you.
Issued by: Office of the Presidency