South Africa makes important decisions to develop trade and economic cooperation with Russia

The Russia-South Africa Joint Intergovernmental Committee for trade and economic cooperation completed its work in Pretoria.

The committee was engaged in searching for the most perspective directions of bilateral contacts in industry, science and technologies, energy sector, finance, agriculture and forestry.

According to vice-premier Valentina Matviyenko, who headed the Russian delegation, a major achievement of the committee's session is South Africa's consent to recognise Russia as a market-economy country. This decision will come into force officially already on December 1.

For their part the Russian authorities will soon put South Africa on the list of developing countries enjoying privileges in trade with Russia.

Tatyana Anodina, head of the Russian interstate aviation committee, stated that another achievement of the session is the signing of a memorandum on mutual understanding in the sphere of flight worthiness and flight safety. Actually, it opens the South-African market for Russian aircraft, including for such promising models as Tu-204, Tu-214 and Il-96.

The committee is to work out another eight agreements, including the document on cooperation in medicine and medical research, peaceful use of space, and an agreement on cooperation in the marine transport sphere.

A joint communique issued on the results of the 2nd session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee underscores that the session brought the political relations between South Africa and Russia to a qualitatively new level, that of strategic partnership. This allows to form extremely beneficial relations conducive to raising living standards of people of both countries.

The next session of the committee will be held in Moscow in 2003.

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