SA- Argentina boost employment opportunities

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pretoria - South Africa and Argentina are seeking to expand their value chains and increase employment, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Friday.

"South Africa and Argentina both seek to expand their value chains and increase employment thus profiting from the economies of scale that enlarged markets offer.

"Bilateral relations are key to creating new trade and investment opportunities. Such efforts are supported by dynamic economic relations that have been growing over the last few years through strong expansion of trade and investment," said Nkoana-Mashabana.

Nkoana-Mashabane's remarks followed on the conclusion of the third South Africa-Argentina Bi-national Commission (BNC). She held discussions with her Argentinean counterpart Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship Minister H,ctor Timerman.

"Argentina is in the process of ratifying the Sacu- Mercosur agreement. With that, it will open up many opportunities in strengthening our bilateral trade and investment relations," explained Nkoana-Mashabane.

The Southern African Customs Union comprises Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland while Mercosur comprises of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Both countries embraced multilaterism in approaching challenges facing the African continent and the global community.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the two countries enjoy mutual commonalties on issues such as climate change, human rights, the response to the global recession and challenges of development.

Timerman said the two countries shared many values. "We also talked about our cooperation on issues of human rights, having had both countries go through terrible experiences in the past. We also discussed financial institutions and we said they need to reform the rules of trade. We need to have a more balanced trade among developing and developed countries," said Timerman.

Nkoana-Mashabane thanked Argentina for its support while South Africa was part of the UN Security Council. "We thank Argentina for its support for our UN Security Council non-permanent candidacy and Argentina's support during our term which is coming to an end in December."

She congratulated Argentina for being elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council from 2013 to 2014. "South Africa undertakes to support Argentina during its term."

On the issue of the Argentine frigate that is being held in Ghana in a financial dispute, Timerman said: "We are working to get back the frigate that was impounded in Ghana. There was an officer from the South African navy who was a guest of Argentina and he was along with other guests from other countries on board and they were taken away by Argentina and each [was] repatriated to each country to safeguard their security."-

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