SA to deepen bilateral relations with Argentina

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pretoria - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will today welcome her Argentine counterpart, Foreign Relations, International Trade Minister, Hector Timerman.

Timerman is in South Africa for the two-day 3rd Session of the South Africa-Argentina Bi-National Commission (BNC).

This will be the third meeting of the BNC since the commission was established in accordance with a bilateral agreement signed between South Africa and Argentina in New York, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, in September 2005.

A Senior Officials' Session is scheduled for today, followed by the Ministerial Session on Friday which will be co-chaired by Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Timerman. The previous Senior Officials' Session took place in Pretoria in November 2010.

The meetings will further investigate and evaluate progress made in the implementation of key bilateral agreements in fields such as defence cooperation and arts and culture as well as progress in the negotiations of agreements related to agriculture and tourism.

The links between South Africa and Argentina are strategic and they involve crucial long-term interests.

Moreover, the two countries both seek to expand their value chains and increase employment, thus profiting from the economies of scale that enlarged markets offer.

In 2011, Argentine exports to South Africa amounted to US$1.08 billion, representing a 23 percent growth in comparison to 2010. In turn, imports from South Africa totalled US$205 million, a 45 percent increase in the same period. -

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