International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Mr Sergey Donskoy, will co-chair the 14th Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) between South Africa and the Russia on Friday, 18 November 2016, in Pretoria.
The ITEC Agreement was signed in 1999. ITEC has proven to be an effective instrument in contributing directly to improved two-way trade and investment, as well as critical skills development and technology exchanges, and has given practical substance to the political commitment on the part of the two countries to work together, as also expressed in the Treaty of Friendship and Partnership signed during H.E President Vladimir Putin’s visit to South Africa in September 2006 and the more recent Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed by the respective Presidents in March 2013.
The 14th Session of the ITEC will review progress made since the last session and is expected to agree on specific plans of action to expedite implementation of existing commitments within all the sectors of ITEC, including trade, investment and banking; mineral resources; energy; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; transport; science, technology and space; water resources; and education and justice.
The ITEC also includes the South Africa – Russia Business Council, which brings together private sector representatives from both countries in various sectors to discuss ways of accelerating bilateral trade and investment opportunities. The Business Council will meet on 17 November 2016 in Pretoria and its outcomes will be included in the final ITEC outcome document.
South Africa will continue to promote its key priorities in the ITEC discussions, which include domestic, regional and global issues such as education and skills development, especially in nuclear science, physics and mathematics; technology transfer; mineral resource beneficiation; diversification of structure of trade to high value-added products; and tourism cooperation. In addition, it is expected that the mainstreaming of Africa’s regional economic integration priorities and the BRICS objectives will also form part of discussions.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.