Meeting looks at ways to support Zim's productive sectors

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Harare - South Africa and Zimbabwe have discussed measures to support the recovery of that country's productive sectors as well as trade facilitation measures between the two countries.

"This included the opening of lines of credit, export credit insurance, spatial development initiatives and trade facilitation measures," said a joint communiqu, issued at the conclusion of the third session of the Zimbabwe-South Africa joint commission.

"The two sides exchanged views on political developments in their respective countries. They agreed to work together in Zimbabwe's re-engagement with the international community and in the lobbying for the lifting of economic sanctions in keeping with the 2009 Addis Ababa AU Summit Resolution and the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement" the communiqu, reads.

The two countries further agreed to finalise negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, the Memorandum on Economic Cooperation and the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement.

On agricultural production and food security, the Zimbabwean government expressed its appreciation to South Africa for the provision of agricultural inputs under the Southern African Development Community initiative. The initiative, saw the disbursement of R300 million to Zimbabwe.

Both countries have also agreed to establish a Joint Working Committee on energy to enhance cooperation in the generation of power.

During their discussions, Minister Dlamini Zuma and Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi further agreed that both sides would cooperate in enhancing production in the mining sector and the harmonisation of mineral policies in order to attract investment.

"A draft protocol on Tourism and the establishment of a Bilateral Tourism Technical Committee were also discussed at the JPCC in light of the upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup and the Transfrontier Conservation Parks," the communiqu, reads.

Discussions on immigration matters and political developments in both countries were also discussed.

Minister Dlamini Zuma's delegation to Zimbabwe included Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Agriculture Lulu Xingwana and Health Minister Barbara Hogan.

Zimbabwe remains a major trading partner with South Africa. In 2007, exports to Zimbabwe totaled R8 million, while imports were at over R6 million

South Africa will host the next JPCC session.