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South Africa Seeking Oil Supplies From Ghana

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The South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe last week led a South African delegation to Ghana to elevate the level of cooperation in energy security and energy-related technology.

The South African Ministers of Energy Dipuo Peters and Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba as well as International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim are also part of the delegation.

Their visit was to play a vital role in solidifying relations with Ghana - whose petroleum industry is still in its infancy stages, with production having started in 2010. A ccording to sources within,Pretoria is looking at supplies from new oil markets to maintain its growing economy and energy demands.

Environmental issues, including the management of national parks, will also make it to the agenda that will also pave the way for the South Africa-Ghana Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation to be held later this year. According to the International Relations and Cooperation Department, Ghana represents a major export market for South African goods in West Africa after Nigeria.

"While total trade volumes are still relatively low in global terms, it is expected that these figures will grow," said the department.

In recent years, trade between the two countries has grown significantly. South African exports have grown from less than R1 billion in 1998 to over R3 billion in 2009.

Equally, imports from Ghana have shown a constant increase during the same period. Products such as vehicles, machinery, mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, base metals, aircraft, vessels and associated products contribute to the increased exports to Ghana.

There are more than 80 South African companies registered in Ghana in various sectors such as mining, retail, insurance, transport, tourism, banking, telecommunication, construction, franchising, manufacturing, aviation and energy.
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