22 October 2006

South Africa: SA And Germany to Hold 2010 World Cup Talks

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is meeting her German counterpart to discuss among other things, South Africa's preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the Germany's co-operation in this regard.

Dr Dlamini Zuma and Frank-Walter Steinmeier Steinmeier will co-chair the 5th session of the South Africa - Germany Binational Commission (BNC) on Monday.

The discussions on 2010 follow former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's offer to President Thabo Mbeki, of Germany's willingness and full co-operation to share their experience from hosting the 2006 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad and members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have already visited Germany on several occasions and set up a network for co-operation.

They will continue visiting the country to gain a better analysis of the 2006 World Cup.

According to Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa, South African-German cooperation has grown significantly since 1994, and South Africa regards Germany as an important and valued partner.

He said Dr Dlamini Zuma's participation in the BNC, being held under the banner "Keep the Ball Rolling- Investing in Common Goals", comes within the context of South Africa's commitment to, among others, promote North-South co-operation in support of the African agenda through partnerships with the G-8 and the African Partnership Forum of the European Union (EU).

The BNC consists of six committees - Arts and Culture, Defence, Environment, Development Cooperation (National Treasury and partner departments), Science and Technology and Economic.

Each of these committees is motivated by the long term goal of achieving South Africa's domestic objectives, as outlined through South Africa's Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (AsgiSA) and Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA).

Issues on the agenda include the bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries, a review of developments within the European Union and Africa including Germany's respective presidencies of the G-8 and EU in 2007 with the focus on the Promotion of the African Agenda.

"They will also elaborate on the conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Africa including Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region, co-operation in the multilateral arena including the United Nations with respect to South Africa's tenure of the Non-Permanent Seat of the Security Council 2007-2008," said Mr Mamoepa.

He added that Germany had expressed support for South Africa's non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council and the reform of the World Trade Organisation with respect to the reform of the multilateral trading framework.

With regard to bilateral economic relations, South Africa ranks 32nd as a source country to Germany for imports and 22nd as an export destination.

Germany's trade with South Africa exceeds its trade with G8 member Canada.

Germany is also South Africa's largest import partner and forth largest export partner after Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr Mamoepa further outlined major investments by German companies including companies such as BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bayer and Ferrostaal.

"Although South Africa is Germany's largest trading partner on the African continent, only a very small percentage of Germany's total trade takes place in South Africa.

"South African companies such as Minorco, Sappi, SASOL and ABSA have invested in Germany," he said.

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