Pandor pleased by growing trade with Austria

South Africa – International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has welcomed the growing overall trade between South Africa and Austria and the rising tourism numbers from the landlocked country in central Europe .

“We appreciate the valuable contribution that Austrian companies are making in South Africa, particularly in job creation, skills development and technology transfer,” she said on Thursday .

The Minister was sharing her remarks during the joint media briefing with her Austrian counterpart, Minister Alexander Schallenberg, in Pretoria .

Pandor took the time to thank Schallenberg for honouring his invitation to come to South Africa for the meeting and engagements aimed at solidifying relations between the two countries .

South Africa’s bilateral relations with Austria, according to the Minister, are sound and on an upward trajectory .

This was evident when South Africa successfully hosted the third meeting of the South Africa-Austria Bilateral Consultations in Pretoria in 2022, after a two-year hiatus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

“During our deliberations today, we discussed the status of our bilateral cooperation as well as regional developments on the continent, current international developments and our robust cooperation in the multilateral arena .

The South Africa-Austria bilateral cooperation includes renewable energy; wastewater treatment, recycling and organic agriculture; innovation and digitalisation; and environmental technologies .

Schallenberg and his delegation will engage with South African business in a Business Forum arranged by the Department of Trade, Investment and Competition .

Austria, according to Pandor, is renowned for its vocational training and South Africa is keen to engage the Austrian government on the possibilities of establishing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of vocational training .

Schallenberg and Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa will also sign a MoU on arts and culture during the opening of the Austrian Cultural Forum tonight, which according to Pandor further illustrates the nations’ increased bilateral and people-to-people cooperation .

“South Africa appreciates Austria’s global standing, reputation, and advanced technological capability in the renewable energy space, which makes Austria a natural partner for South Africa .

“Minister, once again I welcome you and your delegation and wish you a successful and pleasant stay in South Africa,” she added .

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