22 February 2023
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini, will host the Fifth South Africa – Philippines Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF) on Thursday, 23 February 2023, in Pretoria.
Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini will co-chair the BCF with Ms Theresa Lazaro, Undersecretary of Bilateral Relations and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines.
It is expected that the Fifth BCF between South Africa and the Philippines will further consolidate the existing bilateral cooperation, discuss important bilateral and international issues of mutual interest and afford an opportunity to review existing bilateral agreements and to make proposals on further agreements that may be needed to enhance cooperation in various fields.
A Memorandum of Understanding on Diplomatic Training, Research and Development between the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines will be signed during the BCF.
There is a steady growth of South African exports to the Philippines from various sectors. Sales of South African wines, juices and fruits have shown a marked increase and are available on retail shelves across the Philippines. There exists potential for closer and more beneficial relations with the Philippines.
The two countries have undertaken efforts to enhance bilateral trade and commercial relations with total bilateral trade for 2022 at R3.511 billion, with South African exports at R 974 million and imports valued at R2.537 billion.
The Philippines is one of the founding members of ASEAN and supported South Africa’s accession to the Association’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), which came about on 10 November 2020. South Africa lodged its intention to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner (SDP) with ASEAN in December 2022.
South Africa and the Philippines are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations in 2023. Bilateral relations between South Africa and Philippines are warm and cordial, both on the bilateral and multilateral levels. There is considerable scope for the deepening of relations at the bilateral level through the existing structured BCF and bilateral high-level visits.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO,082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpanberg Road