In the period of 2011-2015, the relationship between Mexico and South Africa was characterized by a high political level of dialogue and broad agreement on various issues on the multilateral agenda, particularly in respect to climate change, international peace and security as well as development.
In October 2013 Mexico and South Africa celebrated their twentieth anniversary of establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, whereby a series of activities were carried out. It could be highlighted the issuance of commemorative stamps by the postal services of both countries.
It also emphasizes on the opening of the Military and Air Attachés office at this Embassy in October 2014, which will promote new areas of bilateral relations.
Mexican Ambassadors in South Africa have met with various partners within the South African government during their leadership. In this sense, strategic approaches were initiated to promote the G20 agenda during the Mexican Presidency.
The G20 offered an additional platform to maintain contacts at the highest level. President Jacob Zuma visited Mexico to participate in the G20 Summit in Los Cabos (June 2012). South Africa has an active participation during the Mexican Presidency of the G20, with the presence of the South African President, the Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, among others.
President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jose Antonio Meade, participated in the memorial service of former South African President Nelson Mandela, held at the FNB Stadium on December 10th, 2013. The presence of the Mexican President was highly appreciated by the South African government as a sign of respect for the people of Mexico for the figure of President Mandela and the Mexican government’s interest to maintain a priority relationship with South Africa.
In 2014 priority was given to follow up on the agreements reached during the First Meeting of the Bi-national Commission in 2010. On November 6th, 2012 a preparatory meeting from the Second Mexico-South Africa Bi-national Commission was held at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa in Pretoria.
The Subcommittees for Technical Cooperation – Scientific and Technological and Economic Affairs held their session September 26th, 2014 in Pretoria. The Bi-national Commission was also held October 17th, 2014 in Pretoria, co-chaired by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jose Antonio Meade, and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
One of the agreements signed following the Bi-national Commission highlights the Action Plan Mexico-South Africa “Towards a Priority Relationship 2014-2016”, in which the priorities of the bilateral relations are detailed.
On the occasion of his visit to South Africa, Secreatry Meade was received in a courtesy visit by President Jacob Zuma, and held several meetings of business nature.
At the parliamentary level, the visit by the President of the Committee for Foreign Affairs to Africa, Senator Margarita Flores and Vice President of the Board of the Chamber of Deputies, Aleida Alavez, was highlighted to participate in the opening session of the Pan-African Parliament, held in April 2013. This was the first contact between the Mexican Congress and the Parliamentary Body of the African Union.
Since the establishment of relations between Mexico and South Africa, the following bilateral agreements that govern the relationship have been signed. Prior to the Second Bi-national Meeting, the following treaties were counted: 1) General Cooperation Agreement (1998); 2) Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Mechanism of Consultation in Matters of Mutual Interest (May 2011); 3) Executive Program of Cultural Cooperation 2004-2007 (October 2004); 4) Technical Cooperation Agreement on Social Development (October 2006); 5) Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Chapingo and the Free State (March 2006); 6) Cooperation Agreement on Species Conservation between the Chapultepec Zoo and the Pretoria Zoo (May 27th, 2007); 7) Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Mexico-South Africa Bi-national Commission (February 2009); 8) Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion (February 2009); 9) Mexico-South Africa Joint Declaration: Towards a Priority Relationship (April 2010); Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (April 2010).
In 2014 the following legal instruments were signed:
- Treaty on Extradition (by cross signatures, 2014).
- Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (by cross signatures, 2014).
- Final Act of the Second Mexico-South Africa Bi-national Commission, signed by the Foreign Ministers of both countries (October 2014).
- Action Plan: Mexico-South Africa towards a Priority Relationship 2014-2016, signed by the Foreign Ministers of both countries (October 2014).
- Memorandum of Understanding between ProMexico and Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA), signed by the Director of ProMexico, Francisco Gonzalez, and his counterpart Yunus Hoosen (October 2014).
- Memorandum of Understanding between Bancomext and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) of South Africa, signed by its Managing Director, Enrique de la Madrid, and K. Kutuane (October 2014).
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism of the United Mexican States and the Department of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa in Tourism Cooperation (January 2014).
- Specific Program of Cooperation in Tourism 2015-2016 (October 2014).
- Memorandum of Understanding on Academic and Diplomatic Cooperation signed between the diplomatic academies of the two countries (October 2014).
- Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Environment of the Federal District and the Executive Director of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (September 2014).
Additionally, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs issued a Unilateral Declaration on the abolition of visas on South African diplomatic passports on October 17th, 2014.