17 September 2012
International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman on Friday concluded a visit to Cuba, where he held a series of consultations with officials from that country.
Fransman met with key government representatives, including Hernandez Guillen, Cuba’s vice-minister of foreign trade and investment, and Rogelio Sierra Diaz, vice-minister of foreign affairs.
“During these bilateral consultations, the ongoing efforts of both countries to elevate bilateral trade and commercial relations were noted,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.
“In this regard, the ratification of the Cuban Economic Assistance Package Agreement, signed earlier this year by South Africa and Cuba, was discussed.
“The renewal of the SA-Cuba Health Cooperation Agreement in July this year was also raised. Consequently, South Africa will, from September/October 2012, begin to train 1 000 students in medical science at Cuban universities.”
The department said relations between South Africa and Cuba remained excellent.
“The governments of both countries share similar interests in relation to addressing the socio-economic needs and aspirations of the people of South Africa and Cuba.”
Fransman’s visit to Cuba was preceded by a visit to the Republic of Panama, where enhancing trilateral cooperation, especially in the area of health and humanitarian disasters, was raised.
Fransman noted that the establishment of the South African Development Partnership Agency would contribute to the effective coordination of development and humanitarian assistance.