14 September 2016
The South African High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Mr Obed Mlaba, has completed a two-day visit to Jersey on 12 and 13 September 2016.
During his visit, the High Commissioner met the Bailiff, Mr William Bailhache, the Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, and the Minister for External Relations, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache. He stayed at Government House as the guest of the Lieutenant Governor, General Sir John McColl.
The itinerary for the visit included attendance at the Assize d’Heritage, meetings with the Chief Minister, the Minister for External Relations and the Treasury Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, to discuss Jersey and South Africa’s developing bilateral relationship. The Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, also met with the High Commissioner to focus on the strong economic links that exist in relation to financial services. This was followed by meetings with the Attorney General, to discuss mutual legal assistance, with the Jersey Financial Services Commission and Jersey Finance.
The visit followed the attendance of officials and the Assistant Chief Minister at the ‘Investing in African Mining Indaba’ in Cape Town earlier this year. Engagement with South Africa is part of an agreed ongoing strategy to foster stronger links with the continent, with the aim of boosting jobs and growth in Africa and Jersey. It builds on the findings of Jersey’s Value to Africa report, commissioned by Jersey Finance in November 2014, and is in line the McKinsey’s recommendations on securing Jersey’s long-term future as a leading international finance centre. During his visit the High Commissioner also met with officials from Locate Jersey to consider ways in which South Africa and Jersey may be able to cooperate further in this area.
Senator Bailhache commented "I was very pleased to welcome the High Commissioner to Jersey and to discuss matters of mutual interest. The economic links that exist between South Africa and Jersey are already extremely strong, with a large number of South African institutions maintaining an interest in the Island. There are significant opportunities to enhance our relationship for the benefit of both our peoples and this visit has been instrumental in developing our understanding of how we might seek to achieve this.”
During his stay, the High Commissioner also met business and finance industry representatives, and was the guest of honour at a dinner hosted by the Bailiff.