SA's investments in Islamic Republic among highest

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tehran - Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim has described South Africa's investments in the Islamic Republic as among the highest in the region.

"Iran remains one of the biggest markets for South African products in the Middle East," Ebrahim said, adding that South Africa values its relationship with Iran.

He told the fourth meeting of SA-Iran Deputy Ministerial Working Group, on Monday, that South Africa was pleased with their strong political and economic relations.

"Iran is also the source of about one quarter of our crude oil imports, it is therefore in our mutual interest to work together in tackling any impediments to trade and investment that there may be in order to deepen our economic relationship," Ebrahim said.

He viewed the Joint Commission and its sub-structures such as the Deputy Ministerial Working Group as well-established and effective mechanisms that facilitate structured engagement between the two countries.

Taking note of the time of the meeting, which is during the trying times of the global economic crisis, Ebrahim said the two countries have an opportunity to see what they can do to make the world a better place.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa and Iran are expected to enhance bilateral relations at the two-day meeting.

"The meeting comes within the context of South Africa's priority and commitment in enhancing and broadening the scope of the relationship and cooperation with Iran especially in trade and economic matters within the framework of South-South Cooperation," the department said.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Iran were re- established on 10 May 1994 after the first democratic elections.