Motlanthe in the US on working visit

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is in the US on a four day working visit.

Motlanthe's visit, between 27 and 31 March, is within the context of strengthening bilateral, political and economic relations with the United States in support of South Africa's domestic priorities and foreign policy objectives.

One of the core objectives of the Deputy President's visit will be the promotion of bilateral political relations through discussions on key issues of importance and mutual interest, which include regional peace, security and stability, and multilateral cooperation.

Other objectives include the promotion of bilateral trade and investment, as well as the promotion of knowledge transfer and capacity building opportunities, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said.

While in the country, Motlanthe will visit Washington DC, New York and Chicago.

South Africa and the US enjoy close bilateral relations, marked by a significant increase in regular high level interactions that have taken place between President Jacob Zuma and President Barack Obama, Motlanthe and US Vice President Joe Biden, and foreign ministers from both countries. 

In 2010, the US was South Africa's second largest trade partner, with total trade amounting to R97.5 billion, an increase of 17.6 percent from the previous year.

The US is also a significant partner in the fight against HIV/Aids and other infectious diseases.

Motlanthe, who left the country on Saturday is accompanied by the Ministers of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson; Economic Development Ebrahim Patel and the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim.