Joint Communiqué issued by Dr GNM Pandor and Dr AK Abdul Momen at the conclusion of a Working Meeting held on 24 August 2021
The Working Meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Dr GNM Pandor, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, Dr AK Abdul Momen, took place in Pretoria, South Africa on 24 August 2021.
The Meeting took note that Bangladesh is celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Independence as well as the Centenary Birth Anniversary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Appropriately, the Meeting reflected on Bangladesh’s achievements since Independence and paid tribute to the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for his dynamic and visionary leadership, commitment and sacrifice that enabled the people of Bangladesh to enjoy freedom and democracy.
Furthermore, the Meeting also reflected on and paid tribute to former President Nelson Mandela for his visionary leadership and statesmanship and fondly recalled President Mandela’s visit to Bangladesh in 1997 to participate in the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of Independence.
The focus of the Meeting centred on strengthening the excellent relations that exist between Bangladesh and South Africa which have been forged through bonds of solidarity, friendship and cooperation.
It was noted and agreed that, although trade and economic relations between South Africa and Bangladesh have grown significantly, that there is still considerable potential to expand these relations by fully harnessing the many opportunities that exist between the two countries.
Hence the Ministers also agreed to forge closer cooperation in the fields of small business development, technical exchanges in information and communications technology and skills development, women’s economic empowerment, in addition to the already identified priority areas (trade and investment, agriculture, transport and education).
In an effort to strengthen both political and economic relations, both parties agreed to continue deliberations, through the exchange of official visits, including high-level visits, as well as facilitating engagements and cooperation across all levels.
The Meeting also reflected on developments within the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), with Bangladesh set to assume the Chairship of IORA in November 2021.
The Ministers underscored the need for consultation and the exchange of views between South Africa and Bangladesh to build partnerships in multilateral fora and to ensure the prioritisation of the development agenda of the Global South. The Ministers further exchanged views on regional and international developments and reflected on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global response to the pandemic.
This Communiqué was prepared in Pretoria, South Africa on 24 August 2021.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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