2 October 2017

South Africa: SA, Zimbabwe Talks Underway

South Africa and Zimbabwe are meeting for their second session of the Bi-National Commission, which will afford them an opportunity to review the state of their bilateral relationship.

Today, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Zimbabwean counterpart, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, will co-chair the ministerial session of the BNC in Tshwane.

The Minister's session is a precursor to Tuesday's Heads of State session, which will be co-chaired by President Jacob Zuma and President Robert Mugabe.

The agreement establishing the BNC was signed in April 2015 and inaugurated in October 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe. It stipulates that the BNC should meet on an annual and rotational basis.

The two neighbouring countries are 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.

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, as well as the fast food sector. - SAews.gov.za

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