Visit by South African Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim to Philippines elevates relations to higher level
South African Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Agnes Nyamande-Pitso hosted a dinner in honour of Deputy Minister Ebrahim.
Deputy Minister Ebrahim’s visit kicked off with a courtesy call on Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Laura Q. Del Rosario on Monday, 24 September 2012, followed by a bilateral meeting to review the status of bilateral relations and discuss ways to further enhance and deepen cooperation. The visit took place a few days prior to the signing of an agreement between South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the PH Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario in New York on 27 September 2012 to establish a Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF) between the two countries.
Both governments saw this visit as laying the groundwork for expanded relations and making progress on agreements in Arts & Culture, Visa Waiver for official and working passports Tourism, Agriculture and Air Services. During the bilateral meeting Deputy Minister Ebrahim and Undersecretary Rosario encouraged mutual business delegations to explore further opportunities for trade and investment. Economic ties received a boost in the last few years, with the investment by South African companies Gold Fields and Aspen Pharma Care in the Philippines market.
A meeting was held with the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines (UP) to consider academic exchanges, science and technology cooperation, while the Deputy Minister also gave a public lecture at UP where he outlined the strategic importance of South-South co-operation and South Africa’s foreign policy towards Asia.
The Deputy Minister toured the oldest part of Manila called Intramuros and Fort Santiago over the weekend and visited the shrine and prison cell of Rizal, a hero of the Filipino uprising against the colonial forces 150 years ago. The Deputy Minister was also hosted to dinner with typical Filipino food and a cultural dance performance in the historic Casa Manila.
South African Ambassador Agnes-Nyamande hosted a dinner for the Deputy Minister with Heads of Mission and representatives of all African missions in Manila, South African companies that have invested in the Philippines like and companies that are doing business with South Africa like wine/juice importers as well as media executives.
This visit of Deputy Minister Ebrahim was as an important step in elevating relations to the next level and laying the ground work for a more structured bilateral relationship between South Africa and the Philippines.
SA Embassy Manila Philippines