Pretoria – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is to address the inaugural South Africa-European Union (EU) Business Forum on Monday in Brussels, Belgium.
Davies said the SA-EU forum will provide business leaders with an opportunity to develop common views on current conditions for trade and investment on both sides.
“The forum will offer opportunities to reflect on the future, on where the parties would like to go. The forum will also give the smaller EU member states an opportunity to get involved in the economic relations with South Africa. The latter expressed a desire to further develop economic relations with Central and Eastern European economies,” said Davies.
The forum is envisaged to become an annual event that will broaden the dialogue between South Africa and the EU.
It is envisaged that the forum will become an annual event that will broaden the dialogue between SA and the EU.
The EU, which accounts for more than 26% of South Africa’s trade with the rest of the world, remains a key trading partner for the country.
“Total trade between SA and EU indicates an increasing trajectory during the period 2007 to 2011, except for a sharp decline in 2009. This decline can largely attributed to the economic crises during that period which adversely affected developing countries, “added Davies.
It is expected that the forum will come up with a joint business declaration that will be handed over to the SA-EU Summit on Tuesday.
Last month, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane hosted EU foreign policy head, Catherine Ashton where the two co-chaired the SA-EU Ministerial Political Dialogue (MPD) where the two also discussed preparations for the SA-EU Summit to be held in Brussels. – SAnews.gov.za