The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
South Africa High Commission, Colombo- Sri Lanka to boost relations with South Asia
 
By Dr Srimal Fernando
Foreign Exchange
The Diplomatic Society
South Asia Corresponden
t
 
H.E Geoff Doidge, South African High Commissioner to Colombo,Sri Lanka
also accredited to Bangladesh & Maldives
and Ambassador to Nepal

 

 

 

Mr.M.L.Makwabe Political Affairs Counsellor
South African High Commission Colombo

 

 

Dr Srimal Fernando engages HE Geoff Doidge, South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Ambassador  to Nepal. Dr Fernando recently returned from a journalist tour of Bangladesh. Also speaking with Mr.M.L.Makwabe, the Political  Affairs Counsellor, South African High Commission of Colombo, discussions centred around  the unique initiatives taken by the South African Government /High Commission of Colombo to boost  future relations with these four countries.

SF:     What is the current state of the relations between South Africa and Bangladesh?
SAHC: Relations between the two countries are growing steadily as evidenced by increased bilateral trade, especially the boost of Bangladeshi exports to South Africa, although the potential for trade has not been fully exploited. There are opportunities especially in the textile industry. People to people contacts are expanding due to awareness of the economic benefits of the tourism trade in both countries. South Africa is in the process of finalizing the appointment of an Honorary Consul in Dhaka which will help to boost  future relations.
SF:     What is  the Mission’s objective for enhancing this relationship?
SAHC: The Mission would like to consolidate its relations politically, economically and culturally as well as facilitating a variety of visits from South Africa to Bangladesh and vice versa. These should include among others exchange of visits by political leaders, business delegations and cultural groups. South Africa and Bangladesh share a common passion for cricket and this could be effectively used and be extended to other cultural activities.
SF:      Are you aware of any political, social, cultural or other upcoming interaction between the two countries?
SAHC: There is currently not much taking place between the two countries. It is of the Mission’s priorities this year to try and raise the levels of interaction between the two countries to desirable levels. South Africa is now engaged in the final stages of appointing an Honorary Consul in Dhaka and this will definitely assist in the enhancement of the bilateral relations between the two countries. High Commissioner Doidge will present his Letters of Credence to the president of Bangladesh and this will provide him with an opportunity to enhance South Africa’s relationship with Bangladesh.
SF:      From a regional perspective including Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives where do the challenges lie?
SAHC: Coming from South Asia, all these countries are members of the United Nations and NAM, and the Commonwealth of Nations with the exception of Nepal. They have common positions on most of the international issues, be it human rights, eradication of poverty, UN reforms, ramification of globalization on trade or international terrorism.
Regarding advancement of democracy there is a lot that the countries can learn from each other in terms of issues such as peace process, constitution writing, reconciliation, reintegration etc. A more recent interaction was in 2010 when a group of Nepalese parliamentarians visited South Africa on a study tour to assist them in their peace process and writing of the new constitution.
SF:     Sri Lanka tourism sector expects 700,000 tourist arrivals this year. What are your thoughts of selling South Africa to the Sri Lankan tourist market?
SAHC: The Mission is trying various ways of promoting South Africa in these countries by distribution of tourism material and holding regular meetings with relevant tourism boards and agencies in an effort to familiarize them with all that South Africa can offer. Tourism is one of the sub sectors of the Sri Lanka -South Africa Partnership Forum whose specific aim is to try and promote tourism between the two countries and to share information in the field of tourism. During the last session which was held in Colombo in October 2010, it was agreed that the two countries need to explore the possibility of extending the flights from South Africa to India via Sri Lanka. In terms of marketing it was agreed that both sides will afford each other opportunities for participation in their major events. Both countries agreed to exchange expertise on their best practices to develop Eco Tourism in their respective countries.
SF:     In what sectors could South African financiers invest in the post conflict scenario in Sri Lanka?
SAHC: Some South Africans have indicated that they would like to invest in the tourism sector by building hotels and casinos and assist with the construction of houses. The Mission is also exploring the possibility of linking South African pharmaceutical exporters with Sri Lankan markets.
SF:      Is there anything else that you would like to add?
SAHC: South Africa, with the wealth of experience it has in the peace process, reconciliation and reintegration processes, and constitution writing, is always ready to share its experiences with other countries if and when requested.

 


Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:02
 
 
 
 

_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 07:56
 

Strenghtening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean 9 March 2017 President Jacob Zuma has returned to Pretoria after a successful State Visit to Indonesia, which... <|> Pygmy Intervention Project 13 March 2017 The Pygmy community of the Central African Republic became a focal point at a gala dinner recently held in Pretoria at Burgers Park hotel. The gala dinner... <|> France and South Africa cooperation Visit of French Secretary of State for Transport, Oceans and Fisheries: Minister Alain Vidalies 7 – 10 March 2017 During his visit in South Africa between 7... <|> 6th African Film Week in Athens 13 March 2017 The 6th African Film Week taking place in Greece, brings to the big screen charming images from the African Continent: Urban legends, exoticism from... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Early warning centre for South Africa and Nigeria 14 March 2017 South Africa and Nigeria have agreed to establish an early warning centre to help mitigate and monitor possible threats and violence... <|> Abron Band from Iran share peace with music at Tsarogaphoka Primary School by Kgomotso Kgoale 14 March 2017 Kgwebong Consulting, an Organisation Development company that is dedicated to the... <|> Arctic Council at 20: Making a Difference Regionally By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society  We all know the temperatures are rising in the Arctic twice as fast as the... <|> Marrying of two iconic World Heritage Sites: South Africa’s Robben Island and Mauritius’ Le Morne Cultural Landscape 20 March 2017 Robben Island World Heritage Site (RIWHS) and Le Morne... <|> Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden 21 March 2017 Human Rights Day is a significant day to South Africans for remembering not only the 69 people, who were killed during the Sharpeville Massacre,... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.