Philippine Ambassador Noralyn Jubaira Baja (2nd from left) with KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube (4th from left) and other heads of missions of the ASEAN-Pretoria Committee.
With the aim to advance the Philippines’ relations with South Africa, Philippine Ambassador Noralyn Jubaira Baja joined other heads of missions of the ASEAN-Pretoria Committee (APC) in a working visit to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province on 23-25 August 2022.
The visit provided an excellent opportunity for the Philippine Embassy and other APC missions to learn more about the priorities of the province where they may be convergence of interests. KZN is considered as the second largest economy in South Africa as it contributes to roughly 16% of the country’s GDP.
The key highlight of the visit was the networking dinner hosted by KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, during which she outlined the provincial government’s priorities which include boosting of its oceans economy (including innovation of its ports), agriculture/agri-processing, manufacturing and structural development, automotive, clothing and textile, health innovation, arts and culture, and technology. For her part, Ambassador Baja expressed her desire for more productive engagements between the Philippines and KZN that would bring tangible and concrete benefits for both sides.
The APC delegation also had an interface with officials of the metropolitan government of eThekwini which includes the major city of Durban, as well as the province’s business community. The delegation was also briefed by the Dube TradePort and the Port of Durban authorities on ongoing plans and efforts to position Durban as the African continent’s leading port and container hub.
Following the successful conduct of the visit, the APC intends to organize similar program in other South African provinces.
The APC consists of resident diplomatic missions of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in South Africa. Its objective is to promote ASEAN interests and identity in South Africa.