South Africa aims to further economic ties with Pakistan: envoy
Islamabad (TP) November 19, 2020: Pakistan and South Africa enjoy excellent and cordial bilateral relations. This partnership has evolved over the years, expanding to include strong people-to-people links and new and exciting opportunities,” said Ambassador Mthuthuzeli Madikiza, the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to Pakistan during his Web-Talk on ‘South Africa’s Perspective on Evolving Geo-Economic Trends and Pakistan South Africa Economic Ties.’
The event was organized by the Centre for Middle East and Africa (CMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) today under its Ambassadors’ Platform Series.
Ambassador Madikiza welcomed the establishment of CMEA as a Centre of Excellence within the ISSI and stated that he looked forward to closer cooperation and interactions on issues of mutual interest. He said stronger ties and increased collaboration between the African Continent and partner countries in the Asian region have been growing steadily over the years. This has also strengthened the notion of progressive internationalism, which entails opposition to the perpetuation of the legacy of global imperialism, colonialism, racism, the dominance of the global North over the South, as well as global structural inequality and poverty.
Talking about South Africa and Pakistan’s bilateral ties, he remarked that both sides enjoy excellent bilateral relations. According to him, one of the top priorities is to expand economic ties as South Africa considers Pakistan an important market for business-to-business cooperation. Both countries also enjoy considerable cooperation in defence production, with substantial opportunities for a strategic and mutually beneficial partnership. He was of the view that there were several areas for further expansion of economic ties, which includes higher education, science and technology, health, energy, agriculture as well as the minerals sector.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI, expressed that, the present government of Pakistan attaches high priority to economic diplomacy particularly with Africa. CMEA was created out of this desire by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to have stronger economic and commercial ties with Africa. While praising South Africa as one of the leading economies within the African Continent, Ambassador Chaudhry said that Pakistan envisages closer cooperation with South Africa in future.
Earlier Ms. Amina Khan, Director Centre for the Middle East and Africa (CMEA) in her welcome Remarks stated that Pakistan and South Africa ties are highly valued since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1994. South Africa and Pakistan share several commonalities such their struggle against colonialism and the vision of the late Nelson Mandela. South Africa is one of the top trading partners of Pakistan from the African continent. Thus, the extension and consolidation of trade and economic relations between the two countries is pivotal. South Africa considers Pakistan an important market for business cooperation and is keen to further enhance the volume of bilateral trade. Under its ‘Engage Africa Policy,’ Pakistan looks forward to further deepening its political, and economic ties with South Africa.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BOG ISSI, stated that Pakistan has always been at the forefront of independence struggles of African countries, and has facilitated various African Liberation leaders. He highlighted how the current government of Pakistan is laying special emphasis on building ties with the African continent through its “Engage Africa” policy. He also said that from the African continent opportunities like AFCFTA and Vision 2063 are welcoming developments. He concluded by saying that both Pakistan and South Africa have great potential to work together for maximum mutual benefits.