Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Pretoria: More needs to be done to strengthen trade and investment between South Africa and Ireland, says the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Alvin Botes.

Botes said this in his concluding remarks at the second South Africa-Ireland Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“The positive outcomes of the 2nd JCC meeting is evidence of our joint commitment to work as equal partners in enhancing our good relations and by further identifying and moving into new areas of opportunity, such as tourism, energy, sport, arts and culture, as well as working together to end gender-based violence in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

“Also, more work needs to be done in strengthening efforts for increased trade and investment,” he said.

Botes co-chaired the JCC alongside the Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora of Ireland, Colm Brophy.

The JCC was established in 2017 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the sixth South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum (SAIPF) meeting. It represents a deepening of the commitment of both countries to strong bilateral cooperation.

The Deputy Minister reiterated the South African government’s commitment to continue strengthening the important and historic partnership with Ireland.

South Africa has been a recipient of Irish development aid over many years, in areas which include education, health and agriculture.

“The Irish government and its people remain friends to South Africa, and it is our hope that the relationship will flourish even further going forward,” said Botes.

He noted that both regions face political and social challenges.

“Both our regions face tremendous political and social challenges, and more often than not, these challenges also confront South Africa and Ireland as individual countries. However, through bilateral partnerships such as ours and political will and commitment, we will overcome these challenges.” Botes said.