President of Russia VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr President,
Please allow me to once again sincerely greet you and personally congratulate you on your outstanding performance in the elections. The African National Congress won in the overwhelming majority of South Africa’s states and in the parliament. And I want to congratulate you on being elected President.
We have very long-standing, kind relations. You and I agreed that the domestic policy calendar must be concluded – and we can activate plans, first of all, of course, economically. I think that now is the time to recall some of our joint projects.
But even now, I want to note that despite the domestic policy events, such important ones as elections, we have nevertheless been able to maintain a very positive dynamic in our joint foreign trade. Last year, our trade grew by 11% and in the first half of this year, it increased by nearly 10%, so we are working from a good foundation.
Mutual capital investments are growing, and in various industrial sectors. They include metallurgy and high technologies. Overall, we have areas to work on.
I am very pleased to have the chance to meet with you on the sidelines of the BRICS summit and discuss these issues.
President of South Africa JACOB ZUMA (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President. Thank you for the meeting, and for your congratulations regarding the elections. It is also a great honour for us to be able to see you today on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, and a great pleasure.
Indeed, we won in the elections, although it was a difficult victory; these were the most difficult elections since 1994, but nevertheless, we got a good number in parliament that we are satisfied with. Thank you very much.
Indeed, as you rightly noted, we are tied by long-standing and very warm friendly relations; we can always count on Russia’s support and provide our own support in return. Thank you very much; we greatly appreciate it. We can count on you.
Of course, today we have the opportunity to discuss joint projects and move forward on implementing them, which we very much hope for. And in this regard, this meeting on the BRICS sidelines is very valuable to us.