Minister Pandor to attend the Fifth Raisina Dialogue Conference and co-chair South Africa – India JMC in India
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will participate in the Fifth Raisina Dialogue Conference, as well as co-chair the South Africa-India Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) with her counterpart, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi in India.
The Dialogue, taking place from 14 – 16 January 2020 at the Taj Palace Hotel, will be held under the theme “21@20: navigating the Alpha Century”.
The Raisina Dialogue is an annual conference hosted by the Indian Think Tank, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), in conjunction with the Ministry of External Affairs of India. It is one of India’s flagship conferences on geopolitical and geo-economic issues aimed at discussing and addressing issues facing the global community and enjoys multi-stakeholder participation.
The Conference has developed into an influential platform for the discussion of topical issues in the international arena and a number of prominent speakers will once again participate at this year’s event.
On Friday, 17 January 2020, Minister Pandor will co-chair the 10th South Africa-India Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) together with her counterpart from India, the Minister of External Affairs, Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The JMC is the structured bilateral mechanism which coordinates bilateral relations between South Africa and India at the level of Foreign Ministers.
Relations between South Africa and India have strengthened and deepened considerably since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in November 1993. Besides close people-to-people contact, the relationship enjoys a strong commercial element with bilateral trade for 2018 totalling R110 billion. Furthermore, close cooperation exists between the two countries in a number of multilateral fora, most notably within BRICS, IBSA and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
During the JMC, the Ministers will reflect on ways to enhance trade and to remove barriers in order to grow exports and investment, especially in the financial services, agro-processing, mining equipment & technology and pharmaceutical sectors. The JMC will also reflect on ways to grow tourism flows as Indian tourist arrivals approach 100 000 per annum. In this regard, a Plan of Action will be adopted in terms of the South Africa-India Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tourism Cooperation, as well as the implementation of the Visa Simplification Agreement which was signed in December 2019.
Cooperation in the area of human resource development will also be on the agenda of the meeting with the envisaged finalisation of a MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education and a Recognition of Mutual Qualifications Agreement.
The Ministers will also reflect on foreign policy issues of mutual concern and consider closer cooperation between South Africa and India on international issues and within multilateral organisations.
Lunga Ngqengelele (MLO)
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