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South Africa: SA – Botswana BNC Underway
Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, December 02, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 02, 2013

The two Presidents used their opening remarks to reiterate the historical, geographical and cultural affinities that the two countries share.
"Long before we formalised our relations, our peoples interacted with one another, with Botswana being a refuge to many of our citizens as they sought shelter and protection from the brutal apartheid government, which was determined to destabilise any country that offered support to the liberation movements," said Zuma.
These bonds, Zuma said, continue to inextricably bind the two countries in a common future.
Khama referred to South Africa and Botswana as “brother and sister”, separated by borders and fences.
He called on the two counties to "open a new chapter" with regards to their relations.
"We are looking to promote deeper, mutually beneficial economic relations between the two countries," said Khama.
The BNC is a framework for cooperation, which elevates the two existing bilateral cooperation frameworks, namely the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) and the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation on Defence and Security (JPCDS), from ministerial level to Head of State level.
Zuma said the decision to establish the BNC stemmed from a clear commitment to consolidate and enhance bilateral cooperation to a strategic partnership.
Zuma added that there was a need to prioritise cross border projects that have the potential to increase and ease movement of goods and services for mutual benefit.
"The two countries belong to the same regional, continental and international organisations. We therefore need to strengthen our cooperation within these organisations."
Already, South African companies have a huge presence in Botswana, as the two countries share nearly 20 years of bilateral relations. SA companies in Botswana are involved in various sectors, including mining, housing, food and beverages, construction, retail, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services.
These companies continue to contribute to the growth and development of the neighbouring Botswana economy.
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