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South Africa And Sweden Strengthen Bilateral Relations

World Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: ZAgov}

South Africa/Sweden








Pretoria – South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has described his official visit to Sweden, where he co-chaired the 9th Session of the South Africa-Sweden Bi-National Commission, as a success.

“Our visit to Sweden has been more than successful, because we were able to achieve nearly every objective that we had set for ourselves. The first thing was to renew the relationship between South Africa and Sweden at a number of levels.

“Politically we were able to reconnect with the political leadership of Sweden and confirm once again that we are friends, that we have a lot that is common between the two countries and commit ourselves to continue working together for the development of our peoples,” said the Deputy President at the conclusion of the visit on Wednesday.

The visit to Sweden is part of a three-nation visit – the Deputy President is expected to travel to Cuba from 21 to 26 October 2015 and then on to Mexico.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said on Wednesday, South Africa and Sweden were able to consolidate the dealings between the two countries through the Bi-National Commission that was set up nine years ago.

Over the last nine years, a number of committees were set up to work on issues of trade and investment and energy and environment.

“These committees were able to meet during this session and come up with really good decisions. One of the most outstanding decisions was a deep cooperation which was sealed in an agreement on water and the environment.

“Our Minister of Water and Sanitation [Nomvula Mokonyane] signed the agreement with the Minister of the Climate and the Environment here. That agreement is going lead to deep cooperation between the two countries on water resource issues. We will learn a lot from them and they will also give us a lot of assistance,” said the Deputy President.

The two countries also reached an agreement on energy and agreed to continued cooperation at United Nations level and various multilateral organisations.

“… for me the most outstanding agreement was Sweden agreeing to continue supporting the skills development project between the two countries of getting young people from South Africa coming to Sweden to learn at a post graduate level at the Marine University and other universities where they are going to learn technical things that they can come and utilise back home. That to us was important.”

The Deputy President described the Business Forum that was held as a success.

“Business people from South Africa came and met their counterparts here in Sweden and they were able to have a workshop and a seminar and exchange views but the practical side of it all was that they were able to have two sight visits to go and see in real practical terms what Sweden has to offer. So the agreement was that we will get a lot of assistance at a business level from Sweden.

“The other important agreement was that we should find ways to address the trade imbalance between Sweden and South Africa.

“Our trade with Sweden is more tilted in their favour. We are importing more from them than we are exporting. We need to correct that and they are going to work with us to correct that and they are going to find ways of buy more things from us.”

He said South Africa looked forward to the next Bi-National Commission which will be held in South Africa.

“So our visit to Sweden has been more than successful and we are very happy with our continued relationship with Sweden,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa. –


[photo credits: “Two 20kr gold coins” by Anonimski – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons –]



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