SA, US to strengthen bilateral relations

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will seek to strengthen bilateral, political and economic relations between South Africa and the United States when he embarks on a working visit to that country next week.

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.

Motlanthe will visit New York, Washington and Chicago while in that country from 27 to 31 March.

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 will be accompanied by Ministers of Higher Education Blade Nzimande; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson; Economic Development Ebrahim Patel and Deputy International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim.

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