Pretoria: International Relation and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will this afternoon travel to India to attend the 12th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). The meeting is scheduled to take place from 29 October to 2 November.
Ebrahim will be accompanied by officials from his department as well as the Departments of Tourism and Transport and Higher Education South Africa. According to the minister, South Africa is one of the founding member states of IOR-ARC. The association was launched in Mauritius in March 1997. There are 19 Indian Ocean Rim Association Member States.
He explained that the objective of IOR is to, among other things, promote the sustained growth and balanced development of the region and of the member states and to create common ground for regional economic cooperation.
This also includes formulating and implementing projects for economic cooperation relating to trade facilitation and liberation, promotion of foreign investment, academic, scientific and technological exchanges, tourism and the development of infrastructure and human resources.”The forthcoming meeting of the Council of Ministers will see India completing its first year as chair of the IOR-ARC,” Ebrahim said.
With regard to South Africa hosting the 5th BRICS Summit next year in March, Ebrahim said preparations are well underway.”I will discuss South Africa’s readiness with my Indian counterpart,” he said. Meanwhile, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to host her Zimbabwean counterpart Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi for the Fourth Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The commission is schedule to take place in Pretoria on 2-3 November. South Africa and Zimbabwe formalised their structured bilateral cooperation with the signing of an agreement establishing the Joint Commission for Cooperation in 1995.
The JCC agreement seeks to promote political, economic and social cooperation between the two countries. According to Ebrahim, South Africa and Zimbabwe not only enjoy historical political cooperation but also enjoy strong economic cooperation.
Following the SA-Zimbabwe JCC, Nkoane-Mashabane will co-chair the SA-Agentina Bi-National Commission with her Agentine counterpart Hector Timerman.