DIRCO Deputy Minister arrives in China for Official Visit

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, is on an official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

The Deputy Minister is expected to co-chair the 12th South Africa–China Strategic Dialogue with her Chinese counterpart, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deng Li. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

“The Strategic Dialogue was established in 2008 as a platform for a review of bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries at Ministerial level. The Strategic Dialogue Mechanism forms part of the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission (BNC) and provides a framework for the implementation of the comprehensive strategic partnership. The previous Strategic Dialogue was last held in 2021 virtually.

“The meeting will provide an opportunity for the Deputy Minister to continue with the momentum of positive bilateral relations, particularly in the context of South Africa and China celebrating 25-years of diplomatic relations,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement.

The department also explained the importance of the Asian nation to South Africa’s economy.

“Formal bilateral relations between South Africa and China were established in 1998 and are underpinned by the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2010 as well as the new 10 Years Strategic Programme on Cooperation between South Africa and China (2020-2029).

“China is South Africa’s largest global trading partner, which has increased from less than R1 billion in 1998 to R544 billion in 2021. By the end of 2022, the total volume of bilateral trade stood at R614 billion. There are approximately 42 South African companies invested in China in various sectors,” the statement read.

During the visit, Mashego-Dlamini is expected to also host a tourism workshop to promote South Africa as a tourist destination of choice and also visit Shanghai “where she will chair a meeting with South African and Chinese companies which aims to explore new investment opportunities between the two countries”.

Meanwhile, DIRCO Minister Dr Naledi Pandor is expected to host a meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations next month.

“The mid-term meeting provides an opportunity for BRICS Foreign Ministers to reflect on regional and global developments. Minister Pandor, as the Chair of the BRICS Ministerial Meeting, will continue with the policy of inclusive engagement by inviting 15 Foreign Ministers from Africa and the global south to a “Friends of BRICS” meeting to be held on 02 June 2023.

“The ministerial meetings will be preceded by the meeting of Sherpas and Sous- Sherpas from 29-30 May 2023,” the department said.

Source: South African Government News Agency