Pretoria, May 18, 2023 – International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Alvin Botes and his UK counterpart, Minister of State for Development & Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mr. Andrew Mitchell, engaged in productive bilateral talks today in Pretoria. The meeting aimed to further strengthen the longstanding relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom, focusing on areas of mutual interest and cooperation.
South Africa and the United Kingdom have enjoyed robust bilateral relations since the advent of democracy in 1994. Today’s discussions provided an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment to deepening these ties and exploring new avenues for collaboration.
One of the key aspects of the South Africa-UK relationship is the strong economic partnership. The United Kingdom remains a vital export market for South Africa, not only for agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables but also for value-added exports including clothing, automotive equipment, wine, furniture, and a wide range of other products. The talks centered on exploring ways to expand trade and enhance economic cooperation between the two nations.
Deputy Minister Botes and Minister Mitchell also addressed various regional and global issues of mutual concern, including climate change, sustainable development, and peace and security. Both parties expressed their commitment to working together to tackle these challenges and contribute to global stability.
The meeting emphasized the importance of people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation between South Africa and the United Kingdom. Education, tourism, and cultural exchanges were identified as areas with great potential for further collaboration, fostering greater understanding and building lasting bonds between the two nations.
Deputy Minister Botes remarked, “South Africa and the United Kingdom share a deep historical connection and a common vision for a prosperous and inclusive future. Today’s discussions have further cemented our commitment to strengthening our bilateral relations and exploring new opportunities for cooperation.”
Minister Mitchell echoed these sentiments, stating, “The United Kingdom values its relationship with South Africa and recognizes the immense potential for further collaboration across various sectors. We are committed to working closely with our South African counterparts to deepen our partnership and address common challenges.”
The bilateral talks between South Africa and the United Kingdom serve as a testament to the shared commitment to fostering mutually beneficial cooperation and strengthening diplomatic ties. As both nations look ahead, they seek to build on their historical relationship and explore new avenues for collaboration in areas such as trade, culture, and regional stability.