29 September 2017

South Africa: SA, Zimbabwe Solidify Relations

President Jacob Zuma is expected to host President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, who will be in the country for the second session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC).

The BNC session, which will be co-chaired by the two Presidents, will afford an opportunity to both Heads of State to review the state of the bilateral relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

It will further provide a platform to strengthen and deepen the warm and cordial bilateral relations between the two countries as well as to review and determine the actual progress made on bilateral undertakings and commitments made during the inauguration Session of the BNC last year.

"President Zuma and President Mugabe are also expected to deliberate and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual concern, particularly peace, security, stability and development in the SADC region and some parts of the continent," the Presidency said.

South Africa and Zimbabwe have good bilateral political, economic and social relations, underpinned by strong historical ties dating back many years.

To date, the two countries have signed more than 40 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Agreements.

The Agreements and MoUs cover a broad range of areas, which include trade and investment, immigration, defence, transport, agriculture, environment, energy, health, labour, water management, taxation, as well as arts and culture.

On the economic front, Zimbabwe is one of South Africa's top five trading partners on the continent, with trade statistics showing annual growth.

In 2016, South Africa's exports to Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R29.3 billion.

There are over 120 South African companies doing business in Zimbabwe in various sectors including mining, aviation, tourism, banking sector, the property sector, the retail sector, construction sector, and the fast food sector and many more.

President Zuma will be supported by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies; Labour Minister Ms Mildred Oliphant; Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and Minister of Transport Joseph Maswanganyi.

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