Media Remarks by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the Conclusion of the Joint Commission for Cooperation with the Republic of Angola, Pretoria, 18 October 2013

Your Excellency, My Dear Brother, Minister Chikoti,
Honourable Ministers,
Members of the Media,

Good day,

 We have just concluded our bilateral discussions which have been characterised by the usual friendliness and comradeship.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have been holding the meeting of the Joint Commission for Cooperation between South Africa and Angola. The main objective of the Joint Commission is to promote political, economic and social cooperation between our two countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During our discussions, we reviewed progress in the bilateral cooperation between our sister Republics. In this regard, we have noted with great appreciation the noticeable progress that has been achieved in strengthening of the bilateral cooperation. To date, we have signed over twenty-two (22) bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding covering a wide range of sectors including trade and industry, energy, science and technology, sport, arts and culture, mining, tourism, defence, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You will note that this is indeed a great achievement in our cooperation. While we salute the signing of such a high number of agreements and memoranda of understanding, we also noted that the implementation of these legal instruments is not at the level we wanted it to be. In this regard, we have agreed to prioritise full implementation of all signed agreements. We have decided to establish a Mid-Review Mechanism between the two Foreign Ministries which will meet twice a year to assess progress in the implementation of agreements and make necessary follow-up and interventions. We have additionally decided to create a Technical Task Team of relevant Departments and Ministries to meet twice a year in order to follow up on implementation. It is imperative that all relevant Departments and Ministries continue to meet at regular intervals to work on implementation of agreements for the mutual benefit of our two countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have noted with great appreciation the increasing economic cooperation between our two countries. In this regard, we have noted that Angola in 2012 became South Africa’s number one trading partner on the Continent. The total South African imports amounted to R23 billion while exports amounted to R8.7 billion. We have agreed on the need to further increase and expand our economic cooperation for the benefit of respective countries and peoples.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are working towards creating a Special and Strategic Cooperation between our two countries. This means we will be paying particular focus on certain key sectors to ramp up our bilateral cooperation and partnership.

In conclusion, during our discussions we also exchanged views on the latest political developments in the region, the continent and the world, paying particular attention to the security situation in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  In this regard, we have reiterated that need for the SADC/ICGLR Summit as decided by the Lilongwe SADC Summit.

Honourable Minister, let me invite you to make your remarks.

I thank you

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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