Remarks by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, at the conclusion of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) Meeting between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Malawi, 07 September 2012

Honourable Minister Chiume, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Malawi,

Members of the media,

Good afternoon,

We have just concluded the two-day bilateral discussions between Malawi and South Africa within the framework of the Joint Commission for Cooperation.

For those who may not know, the two countries signed in 2007 an Agreement establishing the Joint Commission. Essentially, this Agreement seeks to promote political, economic and social cooperation between the two countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are happy to report that our deliberations were characterised by an incredible friendliness and comradeship, consistent with the historical and cultural ties that exist between our countries and peoples.

During our discussions, we reviewed progress in our bilateral relations, covering a wide range of cooperation areas such as trade and investment, energy, transport, environment, agriculture, immigration, tourism, education, communications and security.

We have noted with great satisfaction the noticeable progress that has been achieved in strengthening the political and economic cooperation between our countries. Of significance is the increasing number of legal instruments that are being negotiated to facilitate our partnership. In this regard, we agreed to speed up the negotiations so that these instruments could be signed during 2013.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We also reiterated our commitment in improving and strengthening economic cooperation by facilitating private sector interaction with a view not only to increase current trade relations, but also to encourage investments. In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We also exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments, naturally paying particular focus on our region. In this regard, South Africa used the opportunity presented by the JCC meeting to reiterate her congratulations to Malawi for having been elected as an incoming Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, we reiterated the need for our two countries to meet regularly in order to maintain momentum in the implementation of decisions agreed upon in the JCC meeting. In this regard, we have agreed that officials from the two Foreign Ministries will meet every six months to check progress.

Let me now invite you, Honourable Minister to make your remarks.

I thank you.





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