Notes following Bilateral Discussions between Deputy Minister van der Merwe and Finnish Trade and Development Cooperation Minister, Dr Paavo Vayrynen

Deputy Minister van der Merwe

Thanks very much indeed

Yes we are happy to receive our Minister from Finland here to day to continue the excellent relations that South African and Finland share. In the signing of this Declaration we have agreed to deepen our relationship, to deepen our dialogue through the building of partnerships between our two countries but importantly to building the partnership between the North and the South

We are really looking forward to really moving the relationship for one that was essentially assisting us in terms of development aid to one where we partner more deeply with Finland with ourselves as well as through regional partners.

We have been always very grateful to Finland for providing us with a great deal of assistance in the areas of innovation and of communications technology Finland is one of the leaders in this field and we are hoping to further that relationship . The Minister has brought a business delegation with him that is the other part of our work. Today is to look at ways in which increased investment can take place into South Africa and South African companies can also participate in Finland.

So we are very happy to be taking this relationship to a new level which will include much deeper partnerships amongst us in the region with Finland and between us as partners as well.

Once again I would like to welcome you here your Excellency and to thank for a very important and good dialogue we have had during the course of the morning

Thank you very much.

Minister Paavo Vayrynen

Minister thanks for your kind words.

We have traditionally excellent relations between us and the Republic of South Africa. We started our development cooperation in the 1990s with the traditional kind of development cooperation, Grand Aid, programmes financed Grand Aid. Now we have been moving forward to more modern forms of development cooperation, more modern instruments of cooperation.

We are especially acting in the field of Science and Technology supporting South Africa in developing knowledge based society and Environment is going to be more and more important area in our cooperation. Finland is known for its clean technology, green technology and I believe we can find a lot of common interest in this field.

We have a business delegation of about twenty people. There happens to be about twenty companies investing here in South Africa many of them have been leading companies in their branches. But also in my delegation I have several representatives of stronger companies looking for new markets. And of course we hope that this business delegation is able to create more trade relations between South Africa and Finland because there is a great potential in that respect.

I am very satisfied with our discussions with … (inaudible) lady this morning. The declaration we just signed is going to lead us forward in the field of cooperation. It is a good basis for that

So thanks you very much for kind reception, the interesting discussions we had

Questions

In terms of the companies investing in South Africa I would like to find out the areas of investment?

I would also like to find out about the development aid in terms of the region and in what areas?

Also in terms of Zimbabwe what are your views on the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe and in terms of the provision of aid to the new government of national unity.

Answer 

Minister Paavo Vayrynen

Well concerning the companies I can mention at least a couple of companies inside your country that have made investments Metso Corporation, it is producing diesel engines for ship building and power electricity production, Cargotec Oyj company also making investments and many others …………………….(Unclear)

Concerning   Africa we have eight main partners in our development cooperation and five of them are in African countries, Tanzania, Zambia, I am going to go after this visit to Tanzania this week. Then we have Ethiopia, Mozambique, Kenya but we also have regional cooperation. For example in Southern Africa we are now developing the idea of cooperating in Science and Technology in several Southern African countries. We have cooperation and we are going to have a regional approach in the future. The same also concerns production of renewable energy and energy efficiency which are areas that have been very successful in.

We have in Central America a very successful programme which is implemented in eight American countries concerning renewable energy. The same kind of idea is now applied here in Southern Africa, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

On Zimbabwe, off course we are following what the SADC countries are doing. I have heard that there is going to be a Summit of SADC countries to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe. In the European Union this kind of issue is discussed and decided at the Council of Ministers level or in a Summit. We are very keenly following the developments in Zimbabwe, ready to react and change our policy as motivated on the basis of the situation in the country. We will keenly follow what the SADC group is advising us to do.

Thank you 

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

03 March 2009

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