Closing Remarks by Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim on the occasion of the 7th Partnership Consultative Forum, 12 August 2013
Your Excellency, Deputy Minister Lee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The 7th Policy Consultative Forum has been a further important milestone in the development of our bilateral relations. I wish to thank the various committees for the concise and valuable feedback given to us in the course of this plenary session. We are grateful to all participants for the dedication they have shown in their hard work to ensure the success of this meeting.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our meeting today has reinforced our joint commitment to strengthen cooperation and an exchange of views on regional and global peace, security and global governance issues.
We have reviewed the status of our bilateral relations and have agreed that the strengthening of bilateral relations between our countries is critical in advancing our national development priorities and common multilateral interests. We have forged a common ground in most areas and have agreed to prioritize the implementation of our decisions which we will have the occasion to review at our next Session in Seoul.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We also shared with Deputy Minister Lee our ambitious plans for the development of the infrastructure of our country and that of our continent, and the role that the Republic of Korea can play via the Korea-Africa Forum. The key to economic development of the Continent lies in the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the free movement of goods and services.
In this regard, I wish to brief Your Excellency, about ongoing efforts to establish the Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) involving the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Tripartite- Free Trade Area encompasses 26 countries with a combined population of 600 million people and a GDP of approximately US$1 trillion. This presents an economic opportunity for both South African and Korean companies to possibly look at joint ventures in the economic region.
Deputy Minister Lee
Allow me a final word of thanks for the wonderful atmosphere in which our discussions have taken place. It has been a great pleasure, dear colleague, to have had this fruitful dialogue with you today.
I thank you.