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SA, Chile agree to expand economic links

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SA, Chile agree to expand economic links

by BuaNews Online
26 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

South Africa and Chile have agreed to actively expand economic and trade links between the two countries following bilateral discussions on Tuesday.

South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma held discussions with Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

The two ministers discussed plans to increase the number of high-level business delegations in order to explore the attractive trade and investment opportunities in both countries.

The two countries are expected to sign an agreement on the mutual avoidance of double taxation.

The existing trade tariff regime will also come under review in an effort to remove impediments to the expansion of trade volume.

Current two-way trade volumes amount to some R1 billion, two thirds of which are Chilean exports to South Africa.

The trade imbalance will be among the focus of bilateral discussions during the proposed state visit of Chile's President Michelle Bachelet and Mr Foxley to South Africa later this year.

On the investment front, the two ministers agreed that given the growing economies of the two countries, attractive investment opportunities for the business sectors of both countries exist in such areas as mining operations, services and technologies as well as in such sectors as food production and processing, aqua-culture, wineries, entertainment and hospitality.

In this regard, the current sizeable investment of approximately $4 billion by South African companies in Chile, including Anglo-American, Tiger-Brands, Irvin-Johnson, Sun International and others are in the forefront of growing South African investments in Chile.

During the bilateral meeting, the two foreign ministers said they remain committed to the fact that political relations between South Africa and Chile must remain sound.

The ministers agreed to convene the next meeting of the SA-Chile Joint Consultative Mechanism in Santiago in June this year.

The Joint Consultative Mechanism continues to serve a constructive purpose in the ongoing political dialogue between the two countries at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

The flow of tourists between the two countries is growing rapidly and is expected to increase sharply in the run-up to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Accordingly and in pursuance of further consolidating and strengthening bilateral ties, Ms Dlamini Zuma conveyed President Thabo Mbeki's invitation to Chile's President to pay a state visit to South Africa at the earliest mutually convenient date.

Also, Dr Dlamini Zuma invited her counterpart to visit South Africa before the proposed state visit to ensure maximum success of that visit.

She is expected to hold further bilateral discussions with Chile's Minister of Planning Paula Quintana later on Wednesday, and is planning to return to South Africa on Thursday. - BuaNews

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System

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