PRETORIA-- South Africa and Serbia have agreed to explore new potential areas of co-operation in line with both countries' priorities and interests, says Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Bulelani Magwanishe.

Other identified areas of co-operation which hold prospects for the two countries include co-operation in the fields of defence, trade, energy, arts and culture and sports, he said during when addressing the Serbia Statehood Day celebrations held here on Friday..

Our countries established an important platform at senior officials' level to co-ordinate and enhance bilateral relations and co-operation. The last senior officials' consultations confirmed the growing co-operation and also acknowledged the need for intensification of sectoral co-operation, especially in the areas of agriculture and education, Magwanishe added.

He said the co-operation between the Serbian province of Vojvodina and Limpopo Province in agriculture is one of the encouraging co-operation programmes which could be replicated in other provinces.

In the area of skills development, we appreciate the offer provided by the Serbian government for scholarships for South African youth. We will need to look at how co-operation in this area could be strengthened.

Serbian Ambassador to South Africa Bozin Nikolic said South Africa was an important partner, not only in Africa but internationally. The relationship between Serbia and South Africa was strong and had great potential to further deepen and develop in a wide variety of areas.

Serbia is ready to further elevate the Serbia-South Africa mutually beneficial relations to new heights.

With bright prospects and great potential of co-operation under the different frameworks, Serbia is willing to work with South Africa to enhance our partnership in development strategies, to turn our bilateral traditional friendship and economic complementaries into a driving force to further co-operation, Nikolic said.