THE VISIT OF DEPUTY PRESIDENT ZUMA TO MALAYSIA
SOUTH AFRICAN Deputy President Mr Jacob Zuma today (Monday, 20 November) held highly successful bilateral talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Deputy President Zuma, who arrived in Malaysia on Saturday, is attending the Global 2000 Langkawi International Dialogue. The gathering has brought together heads of state as well as business people, editors and senior journalists from Africa and Malaysia. The purpose of the Dialogue is to formulate strategies for optimising the smart links forged in the face of globalisation. The smart partnership movement is aimed at getting developing economies to work together on a "win-win" basis.
In his meeting with Prime Minister Mohamad, the Deputy President said the South African Government appreciated the presence of Malaysian companies in South Africa and said he hoped for continued economic partnership between the two countries. Malaysian investments in South Africa include a 70% ownership of Engen by Malaysian petroleum company Petronas, and investments in Telkom by Telekom Malaysia which bought a stake in Telkom when it was partially privatised in 1997.
The Deputy President briefed the Prime Minister about Government's Integrated Rural Development Strategy and added that there are many other projects that Malaysia could invest in, such as the spatial development initiatives between South Africa and other countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Prime Minister said he also appreciated the partnership with South Africa and said Malaysia was keen to continue providing support. He said Malaysian companies investing in South Africa had been briefed about the importance of training indigenous people to enable them to manage and run any project in future to help the country's economic transformation objectives.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the heads of delegations and senior journalists debated a proposal for the establishment of alternative sources of news to counter biased news coverage of Asia, Africa and other developing regions by certain news agencies. The aim is also to offer another view of contemporary issues affecting developing countries.
Senior editors from Africa and Malaysia presented a proposal to the heads of state, for the establishment of an Internet based news network to serve developing countries and provide news from indigenous perspectives. The idea of establishing an alternative news network was first mooted at the end of the Global 2000-Southern Africa Dialogue in Maputo in August this year and enjoys the support of the participating heads of state.
It was also proposed that the partnership between the participating countries should include training opportunities and exchange programmes for media practitioners.
The Deputy President's delegation includes South African High Commissioner to Malaysia, Lindiwe Mabuza. Deputy President Zuma returns to South Africa on Thursday.
Inquiries: Lakela Kaunda, Chief Director: Communications, 082 782 2575.
Issued by the Presidency