International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is scheduled to host her Argentine counterpart, Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship Minister, Héctor Timerman, for the 3rd Session of the South Africa-Argentina Bi-National Commission (BNC), scheduled for 1 to 2 November 2012 in Pretoria.
This will be the third meeting of the BNC since the Commission was established in accordance with a Bilateral Agreement signed between South Africa and Argentina in New York, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, during September 2005.
A Senior Officials’ session is scheduled for 1 November 2012, followed by the Ministerial Session on 2 November 2012, which will be co-chaired by Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Timerman. The previous Senior Officials’ Session took place in Pretoria in November 2010.
The meetings will further investigate and evaluate progress made in the implementation of key bilateral agreements in fields such as Defence Cooperation and Arts and Culture as well as progress in the negotiations of Agreements related to Agriculture and Tourism.
The links between South Africa and Argentina are strategic and they involve crucial long-term interests. Moreover, the two countries both seek to expand their value chains and increase employment, thus profiting from the economies of scale that enlarged markets offer. In view of this, bilateral relations are key to creating new trade and investment opportunities. Such efforts are supported by dynamic economic relations that have been growing over the last few years through strong expansion of trade and investments.
In 2011, Argentine exports to South Africa amounted to US$1.08 billion, representing a 23% growth in comparison to 2010. In turn, imports from South Africa totalled US$205 million, a 45% increase in the same period.