Zuma to attend South Africa-EU summit
17 September 2012
President Jacob Zuma will lead a government delegation to the 5th South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Summit taking place in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Monday that the summit was expected to build on the positive progress that had been made since a similar meeting was held in South Africa last year.
Issues to be discussed include progress on the implementation of SA-EU strategic partnerships; the ongoing negotiations on SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs); the upcoming climate change conference COP 18, along with an assessment of the Rio+20 Conference held in Brazil in June; peace and security issues in Africa and the Middle East; and the G20.
The gathering will be preceded by the inaugural SA-EU Business Forum, taking place in Brussels on Monday. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and the EU's Commissioner of Trade, Karel De Gucht, were expected to address the forum.
On Tuesday, Zuma will deliver a keynote address at the SA-EU Science and Technology Cooperation seminar, which will celebrate 15 years of science and technology cooperation between South Africa and the EU.
"The EU is very important to South Africa. It remains South Africa's largest trading partner, largest investor and largest donor of development assistance," the department said in a statement on Monday.
Two-way trade between South Africa and the EU has continued to grow, making the EU, as a single customs territory, South Africa's largest trading partner.
In 2001, the EU accounted for 26% of the value of South Africa's trade flows. In 2011, South Africa exported goods worth R152-billion to the EU and imported R223-billion, giving the EU a trade surplus with South Africa of R71-billion.