March 14, 2008

South Africa and Bulgaria to expand relations

South Africa has undertaken to further strengthen bilateral relations with Bulgaria, a country viewed as the gateway to Eastern Europe. However, more potential had yet to be unlocked as many areas had been identified in which the two countries can extend their cooperation. South Africa and Bulgaria agreed to cooperate in areas including energy, transport, infrastructure development, health and most importantly agriculture.

The two countries discussed the African agenda and challenges facing the continent, said Mr Pahad, adding that Bulgaria expressed interest in getting involved in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Bulgaria has expertise in many areas that can be beneficial in terms of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA) and the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA). Bulgaria can help South Africa deal with the skills shortages currently being experienced.

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