South Africa and Indonesia have agreed to put in renewed efforts to increase bilateral trade as well as to work together to promote technical cooperation.
In a joint statement on Saturday, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Minster Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Indonesian counterpart Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, noted that bilateral trade between the two nations has consistently grown over the past five years.
"It was agreed that renewed efforts were needed to increase the volume of bilateral trade," said the two Ministers.
They also emphasised the need to step up joint efforts to identify and eliminate trade barriers as well as to promote direct trade -- through optimising the existing bilateral mechanism, the Joint Trade Committee.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane paid a visit to Indonesia at the request of Dr Natalegawa.
During her visit, the minister attended the Second Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD II) hosted in Jakarta, on Saturday, in South Africa's capacity as Co-Chair of the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP).
Following the conclusion of the CEAPAD II, the two Ministers held a bilateral meeting which also discussed the importance of technical cooperation among developing countries. The two countries expressed their readiness to promote technical cooperation among developing countries.
The two sides expressed their readiness to promote technical cooperation in areas of their respective expertise and experience, including on education and human resources development, agriculture and animal farming, industry as well as small and medium enterprises.
With the two sides being the largest economies in their respective regions, and endowed with rich natural resources, the two Ministers emphasised that Indonesia and South Africa have the capacity and potential to expand economic cooperation, especially investment cooperation.
The two Ministers encouraged the business communities of both countries to enhance investment in various sectors, especially in infrastructure, energy, strategic industries, manufacturing and services.
Relations between South Africa and Indonesia have come a long way. Indonesia supported South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle laying the foundation of good relations between the two countries since the advent of democracy in South Africa, in 1994, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.