The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will host the 5th Session of the South Africa-Slovakia Joint Council on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) in Pretoria on Thursday.
Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Fikile Majola will co-chair the event with his Slovak counterpart, Vojtech Ferencz.
The Joint Council on Economic Cooperation was established through the signing of an economic agreement between South Africa and Slovakia in 2005, following the latter’s secession from Czechoslovakia in 1993, and its ascension to the European Union.
Majola said that the rationale behind the signing of this cooperation agreement with the Slovaks was to mainly facilitate and promote bilateral trade, strengthen investment, and to identify and agree on mutually beneficial areas of cooperation.
“The 5th Session will be preceded by a technical meeting between our experts and the Slovaks, where there will be a review of bilateral trade and investment, as well as policy developments since the last JCEC.
“There will also be discussions encompassing the Investment Promotion Act and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which our country has ratified,” Majola said.
Majola said some of the specific areas of cooperation to be discussed include the automotive sector, mineral beneficiation, cooperation in textiles and clothing, as well as cooperation in the field of energy, agriculture and Special Economic Zones.
The deliberations will culminate with the signing of the Joint Protocol Agreement between Deputy Ministers Majola and Ferencz, which will then pave the way to better cooperation and increasing the volumes of cooperation and trade between the two countries.