SOUTH AFRICA, AZERBAIJAN AGREE TO SET UP JOINT COMMISSION FOR CO-OPERATION

South Africa and Azerbaijan have agreed to establish a Joint Commission for Co-operation (JCC) in a bid to elevate relations and facilitate greater volumes of bilateral trade.

The agreement was announced by South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Azerbaijan counterpart, Elmar Mmamadyarov, at the conclusion of their bilateral talks in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.

During her visit to the central Asian nation, Nkoana-Mashabane also paid a courtesy call on the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

"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," the Department on International Relations and Co-operation said in a statement here Wednesday.

The statement said trade between South Africa and Azerbaijan had potential for growth. In 2015, South African exports to Azerbaijan totalled 217 million Rand (about 15.4 million US dollars) while imports from that country were approximately 4.0 million Rand.

Nkoana-Mashabane and Mmamadyarov agreed that the two countries should explore further opportunities for co-operation in the areas of energy, defence, aviation and skills development, the statement said. They also discussed developments in their respective regions and internationally.

South Africa and Azerbaijan share a common commitment to multilateralism and the need to reform the United Nations, particularly its Security Council.

During the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Diplomatic Academy of South Africa's Department of International Relations and Co-operation and ADA University of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK