While trade and economic relations between South Africa and Bangladesh have grown significantly, both countries have acknowledged that there is still considerable potential to expand these relations.
The two nations believe that this can be done by harnessing the opportunities that exist between them.
This was discussed during the working meeting between International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor and Bangladesh’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Kalam Abdul Momen on Tuesday.
The Ministers agreed to forge closer cooperation in the fields of small business development, technical exchanges in information and communications technology and skills development and women’s economic empowerment.
This is in addition to the already identified priority areas, including trade and investment, agriculture, transport and education, according to a joint statement issued following the meeting.
“The meeting took note that Bangladesh is celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Independence as well as the Centenary Birth Anniversary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
The two Ministers reflected on Bangladesh’s achievements since independence and paid tribute to the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for his dynamic and visionary leadership, commitment and sacrifice that enabled his people to enjoy freedom and democracy.
The leaders also paid tribute to former President Nelson Mandela for his visionary leadership and recalled his visit to the South Asian country in 1997 to participate in the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of Independence.
“The focus of the meeting centred on strengthening the excellent relations that exist between Bangladesh and South Africa which have been forged through bonds of solidarity, friendship and cooperation.”
To strengthen both political and economic relations, both parties agreed to continue deliberations, through the exchange of official visits, including high-level visits, as well as facilitating engagements and cooperation across all levels.
The parties once again spoke about the developments within the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), with Bangladesh set to assume the Chairship in November 2021.
“The Ministers underscored the need for consultation and the exchange of views between South Africa and Bangladesh to build partnerships in multilateral fora and to ensure the prioritisation of the development agenda of the Global South.”
In addition, the Ministers further exchanged views on regional and international developments and reflected on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global response to the pandemic.
Source: South African Government News Agency