SA, Chile foster trade, military ties

Pretoria - Trade, investment, and military co-operation were discussed when President Jacob Zuma met his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet Jeria at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.

"Chile has expressed interest in South Africa's master energy plan and we have agreed that dialogue between the relevant ministries should take place to discuss our co-operation," Zuma told reporters.

"We would also like to co-operate on defence matters, utilising their experience in this regard. We also envisage co-operation among the navies of the two countries, given the extensive coastlines and challenges like piracy, drugs, and human trafficking," he said.

Bachelet, who is on a State visit until Sunday, was welcomed at the Union Buildings on Friday with a military parade and a 21-gun salute.

She said her visit was a "perfect moment to set a new pace" in bilateral relations between Pretoria and Santiago.

"We truly believe that South Africa and Chile are like-minded countries. We share a lot of different values," said Bachelet.

"We believe that we can also bring resources from both countries to co-operate trilaterally with less developed countries of Africa, joining efforts and funds. We have a fund for fighting hunger and poverty."

In a statement the presidency said South Africa was Chile's largest trading partner in Africa.

South Africa was one of the largest foreign investors in the Chilean mining sector. South African companies regularly participated in large international mining exhibitions in Chile.

The top exports from South Africa were steel and related products which amounted to 61.6% of total exports to the South American country.

Around 37% of Chilean exports to Africa were destined for South Africa.

While in South Africa, Bachelet will deliver a key-note address at the 12th Nelson Mandela annual lecture in Cape Town.

She invited Zuma to visit Chile in a bid to foster relations.

"He has agreed and we hope to see him soon over there," she said.

Bachelet is a former head of the United Nations entity for the empowerment of women and gender Equality (UN Women).


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Nomcebo Ngidi 2014-08-09 10:26:27 AM
SA is looking forward to a cordial trade and military relationship with South America,Eastern Europe,Asia and Far East
Neliswa Mlondolozi 2014-08-09 11:48:18 AM
When many ppl are nocking at your door, don't take everything take wat you will only need. We must learn from others.
Jonathan Reid 2014-08-09 12:04:55 PM
Business with Chile is a good thing. About 20 years ago, they were in the same sort of economic disaster that South Africa is currently in. Now they are the strongest economy in South America with under 5% unemployment. They have less resources than South Africa, but fixed up the economy by eliminating corruption. SA city planners should visit Santiago for inspiration.
Fred Smith 2014-08-09 12:14:03 PM
I'm pleased to see that naval policy is now pointed at "piracy, drugs, and human trafficking". I think it is unlikely that we are about to be invaded by the Americans, Russians, Chinese, Zimbabweans or similar. so we don't need too much conventional equipment of days gone by. What we do need to take very seriously is Islamic insurgency. Currently they are preoccupied with their campaigns elsewhere but it is just a matter of time!
Gregory Jaftha 2014-08-09 01:51:24 PM
Zuma doing some actuall presidential work for a change