CAPE TOWN - The Minister of Small Business Development (the dsbd), Lindiwe Zulu has urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to ease the VISA requirements for South African business-people. 

This appeal comes after Minister Zulu declared yesterday at the South Africa - Iran business forum that this would stimulate an increase in bilateral trade flows between the two countries. 

The forum was held on the margins of the Joint Commission co-chaired by the Minister of Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Iran Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif at DIRCO. 

Zulu noted that regarding Bilateral Trade Relationships, South Africa’s imports have since decreased because of sanctions leveled against Iran.

“We both welcome the launch of the Joint Trade and Investment Committee which was an outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during President Zuma’s state visit to Iran in 2016. We have also developed a Road map articulating concrete areas of focus in attainment of our targets”, said Zulu. 

She added that she was hopeful for future discussions surrounding small, medium and micro enterprises and co-operatives. 

“I believe this platform will ensure that the captains of industry of both countries will take relations further in strengthening ties and including youth, women and people with disabilities in signed agreements,” said Zulu.

In addition, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif responded by saying that South Africa has a potential to complement Iran to mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

“We want to establish relations with all sectors of South Africa ranging from mining in which you have a dominance dating back to more than a hundred years and to other sectors such as agro-processing and pharmaceuticals. We are also prepared to complement you in sectors such as oil and gas which we also have a dominant history in”, concluded Zarif. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE