South Africa and Azerbaijan commit to strengthen relations
29 November 2016
South Africa and Azerbaijan have agreed to establish a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) in a bid to elevate relations and facilitate greater volumes of trade.
The agreement was announced by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Azerbaijan counterpart, Elmar Mmamadyarov, at the conclusion of their bilateral talks in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.
During her visit, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also paid a courtesy call on the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
Photo: Minister of International Relations and Cooperation South Africa Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane pay a courtesy call on the President of Aerbaijan Mr Ilham Aliyev.
“Azerbaijan is considered as one of the most important countries in the world in oil exploration and development. The expansion of the oil and gas sector has enabled Azerbaijan to record rapid real GDP growth in recent years.
“Other important sectors are transport, agriculture, construction, services and manufacturing,” said the Department on International Relations and Cooperation.
It said trade between South Africa and Azerbaijan has potential for growth.
In 2015, South African exports to Azerbaijan were at approximately R217 million and imports at approximately R4 million.
Ministers Nkoana-Mashabane and Mmamadyarov agreed that the two countries should explore further cooperation in the areas of energy, defence, aviation and skills development.
They also discussed developments in their respective regions and internationally. South Africa and Azerbaijan share a common commitment to multilateralism and the need to reform the United Nations, particularly the Security Council.
During the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic Academy of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and ADA University of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan was signed.