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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

July 2017 Edition

 
 
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 07:56
 

29th Summit of the African Union Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 04 July 2017 The 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union has come to close after 9 days, during which various statutory... <|> Ukraine Constitution Day 2017 The Constitution Day of Ukraine was celebrated at the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of South Africa on 27 June 2017. Photo: Pictured at the reception are Mr.... <|> The 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland On July 1st, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the meeting celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the... <|> South Africa signs Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement 7 July 2017 South Africa has become the 19th country to sign an agreement establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). Signed on... <|> The Fourth Industrial Revolution as a Disruptor and Opportunity 12 July 2017 South Africa must build its skills base in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry if it is to cement... <|> 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... <|> Kazakhstan as it evolves 14 July 2017 Kazakhstan has entered a new historical period. This is according to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's article ‘The Course towards Future:... <|> Youth winners to represent South Africa in Stockholm 12 July 2017 Three learners from Limpopo, who won the South African Youth Water Prize (SAYWP) competition, will this weekend jet off to... <|> Global Tea Party for 150th year of Ceylon Tea 15 July 2017 The global tea party to mark the 150th year of Ceylon Tea was held on 6th July 2017 at the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry in... <|> Seminar - The Art of Collaboration If you would like to be part of this initiative either as a partner or sponsor, please contact Sello Motsei @ 082 663 5389 or send an email to... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.