Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Concludes Visit to United Arab Emirates [press release] (allAfrica.com)

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has concluded her successful visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where she led a South African Government delegation at the inaugural South Africa-United Arab Emirates Joint Commission, which took place in Abu Dhabi on 31 August 2015.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s delegation included officials from the Departments of International Relations and Cooperation, Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Energy and Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries.

The Joint Commission provided the two countries the opportunity to review bilateral relations and deliberate on proposals for enhanced and new areas of cooperation. This follows the conclusion of the Agreement on the establishment of a Joint Commission during the State Visit to the UAE by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma in 2011.

South Africa and the UAE have maintained a good relationship since formal diplomatic ties were first established in 1994. The relationship has a strong economic focus, and the UAE is already a lucrative export market for South African products. A large number of South African companies are active in a variety of sectors in the UAE economy. The EAU is also host to a sizeable South African expatriate community.

In 2014, total trade between South Africa and the UAE increased by over R4 billion, whilst imports from the UAE year-on-year also increased by over R4 billion. This is a positive trajectory of the potential for enhancing trade between the two countries.

The two sides commutited to the speedy conclusion of all outstanding agreements. The next meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in South Africa on a date to be determined through normal diplomatic channels.