President Zuma boosts economic relations with Brazil and the Russian Federation
28 Mar 2012President Jacob Zuma held two successful bilateral meetings with the Presidents of the Russian Federation and Brazil this afternoon, 28 March 2012, on the margins of the BRICS summit in Delhi, India.
The President arrived in Delhi today ahead of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit to be held tomorrow, 29 March.
In bilateral talks with President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation, President Zuma outlined South Africa's bold new infrastructure development plan, and urged Russian cooperation and investments. The plan, released during the South African State of the Nation address last month, includes geographically focused infrastructure programmes ranging from rail, road, water, ports and logistics.
President Zuma expressed interest in cooperating with Russia on engineering especially with training of South Africans in Russia. The President also raised interest in cooperation in mining, especially the operation of the ore line from Sishen iron-ore deposit to Saldanha harbour.
President Zuma reiterated the commitment he made during the state visit to Russia in August 2010 to strengthen cooperation on mining and mineral resource beneficiation in South Africa and Africa. The South African Cabinet adopted a Beneficiation Strategy in 2011 and the implementation plans are being finalised for key value chains such as the steel, energy, jewellery and the platinum group of metals.
Russia has expressed interest in cooperation with South Africa in the construction of nuclear power plants. South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan 2010 indicates that nuclear power should form part of the energy mix by 2030, with the first plant coming online as early as 2023.Technology transfer, localisation and industrialisation are key components of this procurement.The procurement and bidding processes are expected to begin later this year, 2012. President Zuma said nuclear cooperation and other matters of cooperation should be taken forward in a State Visit to South Africa by the President of the Russian Federation. An invitation will be extended to incoming President Vladimir Putin to undertake a State Visit to South Africa. Brazil boasts some of the world's largest oil and gas reserves. It is the second largest producer of ethanol in the world. Sufficiency and diversification in energy supplies remain crucial to the development of South Africa.
In his meeting with President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, President Zuma welcomed the growth in trade relations between the two countries.
President Zuma promoted cooperation in rail, road, transport and logistics infrastructure.
"We are very happy with the partnership between South Africa's Airports Company (ACSA) and INVEPAR of Brazil, to run Brazil's most prominent international airport of Guarulhos for the next 20 years. More such ventures and opportunities could be created between South Africa and Brazil, to the benefit of both countries' industries. We are also happy that Brazil's largest construction company, Odebrecht, is due to establish an office in South Africa. This opens up possibilities for greater private sector collaboration," said President Zuma.
There is also growing cooperation in the financial sector. The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has already established a working relationship with its Brazilian equivalent, BNDES.
South Africa also seeks cooperation with Brazil in energy, to assist to further diversify the country's energy portfolio, both in terms of sourcing and the mix of energy supply.
Brazil also offered to cooperate with South Africa in social development issues, especially on the fight against hunger as well as on defence matters.
President Zuma also exchanged views with the two Heads of State on international matters such as the reform of international institutions as well as the situations in Iran, Syria, Mali and Libya.
Tomorrow the President will join the Presidents of the BRICS countries to deliberate under the theme ''BRICS partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity''.
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Issued by: The Presidency
28 Mar 2012
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