International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will undertake a Working Visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, from 28-29 November 2016.
The purpose of the Working Visit is to hold the 1st Session of Regular Diplomatic Consultations at Ministerial level, agreed to through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Pretoria in February 2014. The visit will also be an opportunity to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination to Azerbaijan and to the Caspian region at large.
During her visit, the Minister will pay a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr Ilham Aliyev, meet Mr Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and hold discussions with her Azerbaijan counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Elmar Mmamadyarov. The Minister will also visit other institutions to promote inter-institutional and people-to-people co-operation.
Azerbaijan is considered as one of the most important countries in the world in oil exploration and development. The expansion of the oil and gas sector has enabled Azerbaijan to record rapid real GDP growth in recent years. Other important sectors are transport, agriculture, construction, services and manufacturing.
Trade between South Africa and Azerbaijan has potential for growth. In 2015, South African exports to Azerbaijan were at approximately R217m and imports at approximately R4m. Trade and investment relations between South Africa and Azerbaijan has the potential to grow beyond the current figures.
Other significant partnerships between South Africa and Azerbaijan will include the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic Academy of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa and ADA University of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Source: Department of International Relations and cooperation