2nd SA-PH Bilateral Consultative Forum
PHILLIPINES HOST 2ND SA-PH BILATERAL CONSULTATIVE FORUM -10 FEB 2014
The 2nd Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF) between South Africa and the Philippines took place at the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) in the Philippines on 10 February 2014. The Philippine Delegation was led by Assistant Secretary Petronilla Garcia while Ambassador Dr Anil Sooklal, the DDG of the Africa and Middle East desk at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) led the South African delegation and was accompanied by Director Debora Balatseng. The SA delegation included representatives from the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF); the Department of Trade and Industry (The dti); and the Department of Transport (DOT).
(L-R): Ms. Elaine Tandang, Ms. Serla Vee, Mr. Randy Arquiza, Mr. Jeffrey Salik, Mr. Erick Aquino, Mr. Neal Imperial, Mr. Mark Punzalang, Mr. Noel de Luna, Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurto, Assistant Secretary Petronilla Garcia, DDG Dr Anil Sooklal, Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso, Ms. Debora Balatseng, Mr. Robert Ramasodi, Mr. Vuwani Ndwamato, Ms. Mavis Museisi and Mr. Mdu Bulunga.
This was a follow-up to the 1st BCF held in Pretoria on 30 January, 2013. Amongst the issues discussed was progress on various agreements in the field of Agriculture, Tourism, Trade, and Air Services, Merchant Shipping, Science and Technology and visa waiver for holders of Diplomatic passports including the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) in the Arts and Culture and the cooperation between the University of Philippines Diliman and the University of Pretoria. Both parties were satisfied with the outcome of the BCF and DDG Sooklal extended an invitation to DFA for the next BCF meeting to be held in South Africa in 2015.
As a way forward, the dti met with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and also visited the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in Manila and the Cavite Economic Zone. The DAFF officials on the other hand met with their counterparts to agree on the final stages for the importation of SA goods and the finalization of the proposed Agriculture Agreement while the DOT discussed the specific terms and conditions relating to the Air Services Agreement between the two countries.
(L-R) Mr. Robert Ramasodi, Mr. Noel de Luna, Ms. Linda Siphugu and Ms. Phindiwe Dingile
The DFA hosted the delegation for lunch at the Diamond Hotel in Manila while Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso hosted the delegations, including locally based and visiting South African business delegation; Philippine media and government agencies and members of the tourism industry.
(L-R) Ms. Amaureen Smith, Ms. Debora Balatseng and Mr. Ed Smith