South Africa engaging Bangladesh and Nepal
24 August 2015
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Ms Nomaindiya Mfeketo has concluded a successful visit to Bangladesh and Nepal.
While in Bangladesh, the Deputy Minister held bilateral discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Mr Abdul Hassan Mahmood Ali. During the visit to Bangladesh, the Deputy Minister expressed South Africa's interest in further strengthening bilateral trade relations as many opportunities exist for Bangladesh to invest in South Africa.
Deputy Minister Mfeketo also paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment. The two exchanged views on various pertinent issues including addressing the challenges around migration issues and to finding constructive solutions.
Bangladesh has the potential of becoming a significant trading partner for South Africa. Bilateral trade and economic relations between South Africa and Bangladesh have sharply increased in recent years. In 2014, South African exports to Bangladesh almost doubled over the figure of 2013 to reach R852 million. Bangladesh imports into South Africa reached a new high of R745 million in 2014.
The Deputy Minister's visit to Nepal is historic and should be regarded as a renewed commitment by the South African Government towards enhancing bilateral relations between South Africa and Nepal. This visit also underscores the continued commitment of the South African Government towards supporting their internal reconciliation and nation building endeavours.
During the Deputy Minister's visit to Nepal, she paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Mahendra B Pandey. The two exchanged views on what both countries can do to improve bilateral trade and to identify new areas of cooperation which could be explored.
Deputy Minister Mfeketo also interacted with the Nepal Truth and Reconciliation Commission (NTRC), the Secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).