The Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, has accepted an invitation by the Venezuelan Deputy Minister for Africa, Mr Yuri Alexandre Pimentel Moura, to undertake an official visit to Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on 15 September 2022.
Diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela were established in 1993 and Venezuela opened its Embassy in Pretoria in 1995. South Africa opened its Embassy in Caracas in January 1998.
In July 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Consultations was concluded between South Africa and Venezuela. In 2008, a Framework Agreement on Cooperation was signed, paving the way for cooperation in the areas of energy, mining, agriculture, and social and cultural activities. The two countries agreed to establish a Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) to monitor the implementation of the Cooperation Framework Agreement and to identify new areas of cooperation.
The objective of the visit by Deputy Minister Botes is to prepare for the visit of President Maduro to South Africa and to take stock of progress in bilateral relations since the SA – Venezuela Technical Expert Meeting that was held in South Africa in 2019.
The Technical Expert Meeting included discussions between the Department of Energy and Petróleos de Venezuela, the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company (PDVSA); the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Investment; Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ministry for the People’s Power for Productive Agriculture and Land of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; the Department of Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Exploration and Eco-mining Investment.
There are significant opportunities for mutually beneficial economic, commercial relations, and technical cooperation with Venezuela in several areas such as agribusiness, blue economy, energy, mining, and pharmaceuticals.