Pretoria: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is to undertake a working visit to Italy on Tuesday. “During his visit, the Deputy President will meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in order to review the scope of relations between South Africa and Italy and identify possible further areas of cooperation,” a statement issued by the Presidency said on Monday.
At the invitation of Confindustria, an association of leading Italian industrialists and manufacturers, Motlanthe will address a business luncheon on South Africa’s Infrastructure Development Programme and opportunities for investment.
Motlanthe is also expected to attend the 35th anniversary celebration of the solidarity pact between the City of Reggio Emilia and South Africa.
At the event, there will be an exhibition “Reggio Africa” and an official opening of “Reggio Africa Archive”, which hosts historical documents on Africa and particularly South Africa.
Italy is one of South Africa’s leading trade and investment partners. In 2011, it was ranked as South Africa’s 11th trade partner with total exports to Italy amounting to R14.6 billion. In 2009, the inflows of foreign direct investments stood at R4.4 billion.
Relations between South Africa and Italy have been strengthened through interaction at bilateral and multilateral levels, specifically within the context of the European Union, the G8, G20, the support for and the implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan through NEPAD and the United Nations, principally with regard to peacekeeping missions and humanitarian efforts.