Cote d’Ivoire’s Ambassador Sakaria Kone welcomes elevation of trade ties with South Africa
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PRETORIA: Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor was on Tuesday expected to arrive in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d'Ivoire, leading a South African delegation at the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between the two nations.
The Côte d'Ivoire-South Africa JCC was established in 2015.
“The JCC is being preceded by meetings of senior officials from the two countries on October 19, 2021. The ministerial segment of the JCC is scheduled for October 20-21, 2021,” said spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Clayson Monyela.
He said the JCC will provide an opportunity for the two countries to review the status of bilateral relations, and exchange views about continental and global issues of mutual concern.
“South Africa and Côte d'Ivoire enjoy cordial diplomatic relations, formally established in May 1992,” said Monyela.
“Leaders from the two countries have, in recent times, held meetings on the sidelines of major international events, and reiterated the importance of strengthening diplomatic and trade ties,” added Monyela.
Cote d’Ivoire’s ambassador to South Africa Sakaria Kone welcomed the South African delegation’s presence in Abidjan, adding that trade relations between the two countries will be boosted at the session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation.
“I am very happy that the first session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation is taking place, after five years of being dormant in terms of activities. The establishment of the Joint Commission was signed in December 2015. Six years later, we are having the first session,” said Kone, who is also in Abidjan.
“Obviously one can only be happy and excited about this development. Also, this is going to be an opportunity to reinforce further the relationship between South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, increasing trade and putting together business communities, so that we can enhance our trade,” said Kone.
Kone added that, on a personal level, he felt privileged to be part of the landmark first session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation.
“I am privileged to be the ambassador at the time when this is happening. This is a massive achievement and we are going to take further and further for the benefit of our two countries and our people,” he told IOL.
Last year, Kone said the Cote d'Ivoire government, buoyed by President Alassane Ouattara’s win at the polls securing a third term in office, is to implement a raft of measures to fight corruption and strengthen the competitiveness of the world's largest exporter of cocoa beans.
He said Ouattara’s government has developed an economic blueprint that will focus on four primary areas, namely, continuing policy reforms to attract investment; fighting corruption; championing intra-regional trade; and harnessing the transformative power of ICT.