South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will in the next 10 years focus on working together in economic projects.
“We have decided that the next decade of our Bi-National Commission (BNC) should intensify the implementation of joint economic projects, in particular the Grand Inga Hydropower Project, whose founding Treaty was signed on 30 October 2013,” President Jacob Zuma said.
He made the statement after he returned from a successful working visit to the DRC.
“We have urged the responsible ministries/departments to finalise all outstanding issues in order to pave the way for the construction of this Pan-African flagship project,” he said.
Earlier this week, President Zuma co-chaired the 9th session of the BNC with his counterpart President Joseph Kabila Kabange of the DRC.
During the summit, the two Heads of State reviewed progress made on bilateral programmes during the first decade of the Bi-National Commission.
These included cooperation projects in the fields of politics and governance; defence and security; economy, finance and infrastructure as well as social and humanitarian affairs.
“In the next 10 years, economic relations in the areas of trade, industrialisation and infrastructure development will be more prominent than they are now,” President Zuma said.
The two Heads of State witnessed the signing of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement by the ministers responsible for transport.
The agreement will enable the two countries to facilitate movement of people and expand aviation cooperation.
South Africa and the DRC maintain good diplomatic and political relations.
South Africa is the DRC’s biggest supplier of foreign goods and services, providing more than 20 percent of the country’s total imports.
Bilateral trade increased from R11billion in 2012 to R 13billion in 2014.