Pretoria: The working visit to Sweden by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was a success, her department said on Monday.
“The visit to Sweden was aimed at reaffirming bilateral relations between South Africa and Sweden and the importance of the Binational Commission as the structured mechanism to deepen cooperation between the two countries,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said.
While in Stockholm, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane held bilateral talks with her Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström.
The two Ministers discussed issues of mutual interest in bilateral, regional and multilateral matters, particularly in the area of peace-building.
“The Ministers agreed to enhance partnerships for increased collaboration in the training of female mediators in Africa and beyond in conflict resolution and peace-making,” said DIRCO.
The visit also included a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of the late former Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, M Anna Lindh. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also met with the President of the Social Democratic Women in Sweden, Carina Ohlsson.
She met with the Director of the Swedish Foreign Policy Institute, Mats Karlson, as well as with Swedish NGOs working with gender issues.
Sweden is one of South Africa’s major trading partners within the European Union.
The overall trade between the two countries, despite fluctuations, grew from R13.1 billion in 2010 to R13.6 billion in 2014.
South African exports increased from R2.3 billion to R2.4 billion between 2013 and 2014 due to an increase in demand for agro-processed products and advanced manufactured goods such as grape wines, beverage spirits, vinegar, iron and steel.
Imports from Sweden, on the other hand, grew by 14% between 2010 and 2012 to R12 billion.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS