Economy, Business And Markets

S. African Mission Returns With Series of Deals

S. African Mission Returns With Series of DealsS. African Mission Returns With Series of Deals

South Africa and Iran have signed a number of deals that will see them cooperate in various fields, among them trade and mineral processing.

The deals were signed during Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s three-day working visit to Iran earlier this week, where he led a high-level government and trade delegation to consolidate bilateral political, economic and trade relations.

The deputy minister’s visit was preceded by a number of bilateral meetings at a ministerial level, focusing on areas such as energy, agriculture, tourism, trade and water resource management.

An MoU was signed during the visit by Mintek—South African R&D organization specialized in mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related technology—IMIDRO and Iran Mineral Processing Research Center. The agreement is focused on mineral processing,, a publication of Johannesburg-based media group reported.

MoUs were also signed between the Financial Intelligence Center of South Africa and Financial Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran for establishing a joint center to share intelligence and fight money laundering, and between the Financial Services Board of South Africa and Iran’s Securities and Exchange Organization for mutual cooperation in the capital market sector.

In a joint declaration, the two sides said they agreed on the final draft text of an MoU on agricultural cooperation. This MoU is considered ready for final endorsement by the parties. They further agreed to operationalize a technical working group on agriculture and fisheries to put the MoU into action.

They also agreed that the working group has to work on the draft agreement in the field of veterinary and animal health; the draft agreement in the field of plant quarantine and plant health; and the draft agreement on aquaculture and enforcement of fisheries management models.


  Oil and Gas Cooperation

 South Africa and Iran also agreed to further engage on a mechanism to facilitate cooperation in oil and gas.

Iran was South Africa’s largest supplier of crude oil. However, South Africa was obliged to halt its imports of Iranian oil as of June 2012 as a result of sanctions.

Ramaphosa’s visit to Iran followed the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 countries (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) earlier this year.

The signing of JCPOA is expected to result in the withdrawal of sanctions imposed on Iran.

During his visit, Ramaphosa also presided over the launch of the South Africa-Iran Business Council.

The council noted the success of companies doing business in Iran and the enormous capacity developed by the Iranians in areas such as petrochemicals, oil and gas, and agriculture, as well as for developing sources of energy such as wind and gas.  

While in Iran, Ramaphosa had the opportunity to pay courtesy visits to President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.

“The deputy president expressed South Africa’s gratitude to the Iranian government for the stances it has taken on various regional cooperation issues and ongoing support for the transformation of the United Nations Security Council,” said the presidency.

The deputy president was accompanied by Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane; the deputy minister of international relations and cooperation Nomaindia Mfeketo, mineral resources Godfrey Oliphant, finance Mcebisi Jonas, agriculture, forestry and fisheries Bheki Cele and tourism Tokozile Xasa, apart from other senior government officials.

Representatives of state-owned companies such as Eskom, Mintek, Council for Geoscience, Financial Intelligence Center and South African Revenue Service and over 80 business leaders were also part of the South African delegation.