The South African government says it is proud to count on the Republic of Korea (ROK) and its private sector as partners in pursuing measures that are directed at the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Minister Naledi Pandor was speaking on Tuesday during her opening remarks on the Inaugural South Africa–Korea Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) taking place in Seoul where she revealed that trade between the two nations continues to show an upward trajectory, displaying a favorable trade balance.
“[We] have been working hard at advancing our trade and investment relations for mutual benefit across a broad range of economic activities,” she said.
Pandor highlighted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa and the ROK diplomatic relations, which were formally established on 1 December 1992.
“We wish to congratulate our two countries on this milestone and hope for better and stronger relations long after the 30th celebrations,” she added.
The Minister recalled the Korean War of 1950 to 1953 when the then South African Air Force (SAAA) was part of South Africa’s contribution to the United Nations Command with 826 locals who fought in Korea, with over 40 casualties.
Since then, South Africa has become the ROK’s largest trading partner in Africa while the ROK is South Africa’s fourth largest trading partner in Asia with 17 concluded bilateral agreements between the nations.
“Furthermore, holding this first JCC is indeed another milestone in our relationship,” she pointed out.
“What stands out in particular over the last few years is the timely support of donations made during the height of COVID from the ROK to South Africa, the region and the continent.
“This material support at a time of need will never be forgotten,” Pandor assured.