On January 26, 2023, negotiations were held to establish contacts between the Leningrad Region and the Eastern Cape of the Republic of South Africa and discuss the prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation.
The meeting was organized via videoconferencing and chaired by the Consul General of the Russian Federation in Cape Town A.V.Malenko.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of the Leningrad Region, O.A. Konovalov, noted that the Leningrad Region is open for cooperation and is ready to work with African partners to build new supply chains and promote goods produced by the Leningrad Region to the markets of the Republic of South Africa and other African countries.
In order to develop and deepen foreign economic relations, O.A. Konovalov suggested considering the issue of establishing cooperation between the Leningrad Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Eastern Cape province. The chairman of the committee also noted that an additional step to strengthen mutual understanding and friendship between the regions could be the development of inter-municipal twinning relations.
The First Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Economic Development and Investment Activities of the Leningrad Region, E.S. Mishcheryakov, noted promising sectors for the development of cooperation: timber processing, food industry, chemical industry, agro-industrial complex, alternative energy.
As part of the deepening of cooperation between Rosmolodezh and the National Agency for Youth Development of the Republic of South Africa, the Chairman of the Committee on Youth Policy of the Leningrad Region M.A. Grigorieva invited partners from the Eastern Cape province to the annual Interregional Youth Educational Forum of the Northwestern Federal District "Ladoga", scheduled to be held in September 2023. It was also noted that in the field of youth policy, a promising area is cooperation in the preparation of the youth day on the sidelines of the Second Russia-Africa Summit.
Malusi Mahlulo, General Director for International Relations of the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape Province, noted that cooperation in the spheres of economy, culture, sports and tourism, and education could become promising areas of cooperation between the Leningrad Region and the Eastern Cape Province. Representatives of the Leningrad region received an invitation to take part in the National Arts Festival in Makanda, which is held annually in July.
As a result of the meeting, the parties agreed to sign an agreement on cooperation between the Leningrad Region and the Eastern Cape province, as well as other partnership agreements within the framework of the Second Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum under the motto "For Peace, Security and Development", which will be held in July 2023 in St. Petersburg.
To work out these initiatives and issues, the parties agreed to hold the next working meeting in March 2023.