Source: Implement BNC decision, ministers and officials told | The Herald March 13, 2019
Joint communiqué on the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa, March 7-12 2019, Harare, Zimbabwe
- At the invitation of His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, his Excellency, Cde Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid an official visit to Zimbabwe from March 11-12, 2019, for the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the two countries. President Ramaphosa was accompanied by five Cabinet ministers and one deputy minister.
- The third session was preceded by the meetings of the ministers on March 11, 2019 and senior officials from March 7-8, 2019
- During the meeting, the two Heads of State held discussions with a view of further strengthening and deepening bonds of friendship and cooperation between Zimbabwe and South Africa. They also exchanged views on regional, continental and international issues of mutual interest.
4.The two Presidents underlined the close and friendly bilateral ties deeply rooted in shared history, sustained and nourished through growing economic partnership, multifaceted cooperation as well as vibrant people-to-people contracts.
- The discussions were held in a very cordial atmosphere.
- The two Heads of State welcomed the positive outcomes of the Third BNC held in Harare in 2019.
They directed the ministers and officials to implement the decision taken by the Heads of State to further cement the strategic bilateral partnership.
- The two sides emphasised the importance of expanding trade and investments to drive the strategic engagement forward. In this regard, the Heads of State directed their Finance and Trade Ministers to work together to achieve these goals.
- Zimbabwe highlighted the key initiatives taken by Government to improve the ease of doing business in the country and further informed on the country’s efforts to simplify and rationalise investments rules with the view to attract Foreign Direct Investment.
- The two sides agreed to consider options for expanding the standing facility arrangement between the respective central banks.
Other financing options beyond this are also being explored (for example a facility from South African government with an appropriate counter-guarantee from the Zimbabwe Government).
- They also agreed to work together on re-engagement with the International Cooperation Partners in support of Zimbabwe’s economic reform and debt arrears clearance agenda.
- Zimbabwe expressed appreciation for the unwavering commitment of the government and people of South Africa in calling for the removal and unwarranted sanctions which are stifling the country’s economic recovery programme.
- The two leaders equivocally called for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe, whose adverse effects have been far reaching across the political and socio-economic spectrums.
13.The two Presidents emphasised the importance of enhancing strategic bilateral engagement, particularly in defence and security cooperation, to accomplish the common interest of the two countries and their people.
- At multilateral level, the commission welcomed the convergences of views on regional, continental and international issues and agreed to further harmonise their positions, especially in view of South Africa’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and its upcoming assumptions of the Chair of the Africa Union in 2020.
- Zimbabwe expressed goodwill and confidence in the successful holding of elections in South Africa, which will take place on May 8, 2019.
16.The two leaders expressed their deepest condolences to the Government and people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and all the other nations on the sad loss of lives in the recent air disaster involving flight ET302.
- At the conclusion of the BNC, His Excellency, Cde Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa expressed gratitude to His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.
- His Excellency, President Ramaphosa extended an invitation to his counterpart, His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, to attend the Fourth Session of the BNC, to be hosted by South Africa in 2020, on the date to be agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.
Third Zimbabwe-South Africa BNC highlights
SA is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner
President Mnangagwa assures President Ramaphosa that South African investments are to get priority and will be secure in Zimbabwe
Agreements on energy signed
Agreements on air transport signed
Agreements on railways signed
Agreements on mining signed
Agreements on customs signed
MoA on agriculture signed yesterday
Work underway on the operationalisation of the Beitbridge One-Stop Border Post
Zimbabwe and South Africa agree to work together with international cooperating partners in support of Zimbabwe debt arrears clearance agenda
President Ramaphosa for the third time this year calls for immediate removal of sanctions
President Mnangagwa wishes South Africa successful elections set for May
President Ramaphosa acknowledges Zimbabwe’s reform efforts through alignment of laws to the Constitution and entrenching rule of law
The two Presidents exchanged views on regional and continental issues of mutual interest
South Africa donates $55 million Rand police training kit
Improvement of people to people relations
Zimbabwe thanks South Africa for scrapping VISAs
President Mnangagwa applauds South Africa for taking care of Zimbabweans working in that country.
Cultural cooperation between the two countries hailed
The two Presidents hailed friendly bilateral ties rooted in common history.
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