Pretoria – KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu has signed a cooperation arrangement with outgoing Governor of the State of Maryland in the United States, Martin O’Malley, to boost trade links between the two provinces.
The pact is signed under the Sister Twinning Programme and is specifically aimed at strengthening economic, trade and investment, scientific, cultural and human relations.
As the agreement gets implemented, the two parties will develop joint practical programmes in tourism promotion, agriculture development and agribusiness, and education and training exchange.
The focus will be on research and development, port collaboration and maritime exchange.
Governor O’Malley has been a key driver of this twinning arrangement, which is the last he signed before leaving office.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held on Thursday at the State of Maryland, Governor O’Malley thanked Premier Mchunu for his zeal in forging the partnership and for ensuring that it is formalised through the agreement.
Governor O’Malley hoped both parties will seize the opportunities offered by the agreement to deepen trade.
“I thank you Premier for ensuring that I leave the Office of Governor having concluded this agreement. The basic and universal value of judging the success of any government is the opportunities it creates for its people to earn their livelihood,” said Governor O’Malley.
Premier Mchunu expressed his deep appreciation to the people of Maryland and Governor O’Malley for their warmth towards the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Premier also thanked Governor O’Malley for his service to the people of his State, particularly the improvements he made in education, research and economic empowerment.
“I am here not only to sign this agreement but to affirm the commitment of my administration in its implementation as another platform to expand opportunities for trade and investment between ourselves.
“We are a province immersed with tourism opportunities and numerous opportunities in the maritime sector as we upscale our focus in that economy.
“I have no doubt that we can expand our economic relations and learn from each other through well designed exchange programmes,” said Premier Mchunu.