5 November 2012
South Africa and Argentina are seeking to expand their value chains in order to increase trade and investment and grow employment, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
“Bilateral relations are key to creating new trade and investment opportunities,” Nkoana-Mashabana said after the conclusion of the third South Africa-Argentina bi-national commission in Pretoria on Friday.
“Such efforts are supported by dynamic economic relations [between South Africa and Argentina] that have been growing over the last few years through strong expansion of trade and investment.”
Nkoana-Mashabana co-hosted the commission with Argentinean counterpart, Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship Minister Hector Timerman.
“Argentina is in the process of ratifying the Sacu-Mercosur agreement. With that, it will open up many opportunities in strengthening our bilateral trade and investment relations,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
The Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) comprises Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, while Mercosur comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Nkoana-Mashabane said both South Africa and Argentina both embraced multilaterism in their approach to the challenges facing the African continent and the global community, and shared similar views on issues such as climate change, human rights, the response to the global recession, and the challenges of development.
Timerman said the two ministers had discussed global financial institutions and the need to reform the rules of international trade. “We need to have a more balanced trade among developing and developed countries,” Timerman said.
Nkoana-Mashabane thanked Argentina for supporting South Africa’s UN Security Council non-permanent candidacy, and for its support during the country’s term as non-permanent member of the council, which comes to an end in December.
She congratulated Argentina for being elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council from 2013 to 2014. “South Africa undertakes to support Argentina during its term.”