International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman will undertake a visit to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Cuba from 2 – 12 September 2013.
In Cuba, Deputy Minister Fransman will co-chair the 10th SA-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM), with First Deputy Minister Mr Marcelino Medina. The JCM, established in 2001 to coordinate cooperation between the two countries, convenes annually and is co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and the 1st Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba. The JCM will focus on all aspects of bilateral political relations.
Deputy Minister Fransman will also participate in the Public Participation Programme as mandated by Cabinet. In this regard, he will deliver a public address relating to South Africa’s foreign policy, aimed at a wide audience of Cuban academics, friends of South Africa and the South African students studying in that country.
The visit to Peru, Ecuador and Colombia will be utilised to strengthen political, social and economic bilateral relations and identify new areas of cooperation.
While Peru, Ecuador and Colombia have Embassies in Pretoria, South Africa is represented residentially by an Ambassador in Peru, who is also responsible for Ecuador, while South Africa’s Ambassador in Venezuela is accredited to Colombia.
Deputy Minister Fransman will in these three countries not only focus on political relations, but also on economic relations. The Deputy Minister will also engage with Ministers and institutions responsible for social development programmes.
In Peru, Deputy Minister Fransman will meet his counterpart, Mr Fernando Rojas, as well as Deputy Ministers of Mining and of Foreign Trade.
In Ecuador the Deputy Minister holds talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Marco Albuja, the President of the National Assembly and the Secretary of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). He will then pay a courtesy visit on Foreign Minister Patino.
In Colombia, the Deputy Minister will meet with his counterpart, Ms Monica Lanzetta, and then hold discussions at the Department of Social Prosperity, be briefed on infrastructure development in Colombia, as well as discuss trade opportunities.
In Peru and Colombia, the Pacific Alliance will also be on the agenda. It is a mechanism for the economic and commercial integration of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, formally established on 6 June 2012. The integration sought through the Pacific Alliance makes the markets of its Member States even more attractive to the rest of the world, particularly the Asia Pacific region. Several other Latin American countries have indicated interest in joining the Alliance.
Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
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