S/Africa, Russia strengthening economic relations—Sisulu
South Africa and Russia are working on strengthening economic ties, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu has said.
Sisulu recently concluded a successful Working Visit to the Russian Federation where she co-chaired the 15th session of the annual South Africa-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) with the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, H.E. Dmitry Kobylkin.
The ITEC forum is comprised of a number of sub-committees, amongst them the committees on Trade, Investment and Banking Co-operation; Mineral Resources; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Water Resources; Science, Technology and Space; Energy; Justice; and Higher Education.
The 15th ITEC Session assessed progress made in a number of areas of cooperation between the two countries. These include trade relations in areas of minerals, agriculture, water resources, and energy. An assessment of progress was also made on investments between South Africa and the Russian Federation. The 15th Session of ITEC agreed that a lot of progress had been made and more still needed to be done.
“South Africa continues to advocate for more cooperation with our partners in the critical areas identified by our government in line with our domestic priorities,” said Sisulu.
“In our discussions, we continue to impress upon our partners the need for more progress on the platinum group metals, skills development, agricultural cooperation and science and technology. Other key priorities for South Africa include cooperation on transport, including rail transport and systems, as well as agriculture and agro-processing industries.”
Sisulu also held a bilateral meeting with her counterpart H.E. Mr Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The discussions between the two Ministers focused on geopolitical issues which include the situation in Palestine, democracy and governance on the African Continent, South Africa’s non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, and economic partnerships and investments between the two countries.
Sisulu also addressed students at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Her speech focused on democracy on the African Continent, importance of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), peace and stability on the continent as well as cultural, political and diplomatic relations between South Africa and Russia.
She further emphasised the importance of trade relations between South Africa and Russia.
“South Africa and Russia have deep historic political relations and our task is to grow these to stronger economic relations by increasing trade between the two countries. Russia can import more beef and other farm produce, as well as increase imports of our mining machinery,” she added.
Sisulu was accompanied by Mr Bulelani Magwanishe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.