SA strengthens ties with Iran and the UK

Pretoria – Deputy Minister NomaIndia Mfeketo will co-chair the Fifth Meeting of the South Africa-Iran Deputy Ministerial Working Group with her counterpart, Dr Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

The meeting will take place in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Iran were re- established on 10 May 1994 after the first democratic elections.

SA – UK Relations

Meanwhile, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Luwellyn Landers, is expected to host the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, James Duddridge in Pretoria today.

“The purpose of the meeting will be to review bilateral relations, with a specific focus on supporting the economic priorities of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP).

The meeting will also serve to discuss a number of Africa issues that are on the international agenda, including the most recent developments in the Southern African region, said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

South Africa and the UK have extensive trade and economic relations which are continuing to strengthen.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the UK stood at R60 billion for the period January 2009 to April 2014, the highest from Europe in this period and creating 19 699 jobs.

Last year, the UK was ranked as South Africa’s 8th largest export market globally, and the 2nd largest in the European Union after Germany.

Although trade figures have not yet reached the levels prior to the global economic crisis, there has been gradual improvement. In 2013, South Africa’s exports to the UK grew by 16% compared to 2012, and imports from the UK increased by 12%.