Minister Dlamini Zuma to Lead Delegation to South Africa-European Union Joint Co-operation Council Meeting

Tshwane: South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will tomorrow, Saturday 5 November depart South Africa for Brussels, Belgium to lead the South Africa's delegation to the 6th South Africa -European Union Joint Co-operation Council (JCC) meeting scheduled for Monday 7 November 2005.

Accompanying Minister Dlamini Zuma will be Minister Thoko Didiza, Deputy Minister Dr Rob Davies, Director-General of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, the acting Director-General of Trade and Industry, Tshidiso Matona, and other senior officials.

The visit takes place within the context of strengthening the growing strategic partnership between South Africa and Europe. This partnership was cemented by President Thabo Mbeki's visit to the European Union in November 2004 and complemented by the first JCC held at Ministerial level in the same month. European Commission President Jose Manuel. Barroso's visit to South Africa in June 2005 also further consolidated these ties. Underpinning this partnership is the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA), which is currently under review by both parties, as well as agreements on Wine and Spirits and Science and Technology co-operation.

Discussions on the agenda are expected amongst others to focus on:

  • the progress made regarding the full implementation and review of the TDCA, including the shift from development co-operation to economic co-operation,
  • The development of South Africa's Second Economy, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, land reform and restitution, regional integration and the deepening of relations with the European Union.
  • EU's procurement policies and the possible negative impact of the envisaged REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) legislation on the developing world in general, and South African industry in particular.
  • Follow-up to the United Nations Millennium Review Summit, the new long-term EU Strategy for Africa, the role of SADC as an important regional organisation in Africa and the AU/NEPAD Peer Review Mechanism.
  • Discussions on peace and security in Africa will centre on the Great Lakes Region, Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire.

The JCC will also discuss joint reports on progress in trade, development and research and technological co-operation between South Africa and the European Union.

Economic relations between the European Union and South Africa The European Union remains South Africa's most important strategic partner. Almost 40% of South African exports are destined for European markets, with 12 billion Euro's worth of goods being exported in 2004. 44% of total foreign direct investment flows into South Africa are sourced from the EU.

The European Union has also dedicated grants of 125 million Euro per annum through the European Programme for Reconstruction and Development. The European Parliament has mandated the European Investment Bank with an 825 million Euro facility for investment in South Africa from 2000 to 2006.

Issued by: Ronnie Mamoepa at 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs,
Private Bag X 152,
Tshwane
0001

5 November 2005


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