Cape Town: South Africa will establish a
diplomatic mission in Bangladesh as soon as it is financially
feasible, the country`s foreign minister has said.
Reacting to a query in Parliament on the matter, Minister
of International Relations and Co-operation Maite
Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa had every intention to open
a mission in Dhaka, but could not afford it just yet.
"Due to the effects of the global economic downturn, the
budget of the department does not allow for the opening of a
diplomatic mission in Dhaka," the Minister said, adding that
this would be reviewed once the financial situation improved.
An Honorary Consul had been appointed in Dhaka as "the
first step in a long process towards the realisation of a
South African mission being established in Dhaka,"
Nkoana-Mashabane, a former High Commissioner to India, said.
South Africa opened missions in both India and Pakistan
in the wake of the first democratic elections in 1994.
Bangladesh opened a mission in Pretoria in 1995.
There are an unknown number of Bangladeshi migrants in
South Africa, many of whom dominate the `Indian` restaurant
and tailoring market in major South African cities.