SA, Mexico to advance bilateral relations

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cape Town - South Africa and Mexico are set to advance South-South relations by consolidating bilateral political, economic and trade relations, when Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma meets with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa on Thursday.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the bilateral discussions will take place within the context of South Africa's priority to strengthen relations with Latin America with a view to consolidating the developmental agenda and deepening South-South cooperation.

Issues to be discussed include the status of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries as well as ways in which to strengthen these focal areas.

"The discussions will also enhance co-operation between the two countries in the fields of science and technology, culture, tourism, trade and inter-parliamentary relations," the department said.

Issues of mutual interest including the comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council and climate change, will also be discussed.

The discussion will also focus on developments in Africa as well as Latin and South America including the impact of the global financial crisis on these emerging and developing markets.

Minister Dlamini Zuma and Secretary of State Espinosa will, on conclusion of discussions, sign a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Joint Bi-National Commission (BNC) and an Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.

The establishment of a BNC would allow both countries the opportunity to review bilateral cooperation projects and to identify cooperation in new areas.

Alongside South Africa, Mexico is one of the five developing countries invited to participate in the G-8 outreach sessions held on the margins of the annual G-8 Summit.

The department affirmed that Mexico is currently fulfilling its tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council 2009-2010.

Bilaterally, 2009 marks the commemoration of 15 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and South Africa opened its Embassy in Mexico City in 1994.

Secretary of State Espinosa is expected to depart from South Africa on Friday.