South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini
Zuma to Meet with Flemish Minister for Administrative Affairs, Foreign Policy,
Media and Tourism Mr Gert Bourgeois, 30 April 2005
PRETORIA - South
African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will meet the Flemish Minister
for Administrative Affairs, Foreign Policy, Media and Tourism, Mr. Geert Bourgeois
in Pretoria on Saturday, 30 April 2005. This will be Mr. Bourgeois' first visit
to South Africa.
South Africa and Flanders have since 1995 established a
close and growing working relationship especially in the field of development
co-operation. Flanders is one of the Regional States of the Federal Kingdom of
Belgium with responsibilities that have been devolved from the Belgian Federal
Government. These responsibilities include development co-operation; foreign trade;
economic policy; agriculture, transport.
The relationship has been formalised
through the signing of various Declarations of Intent, a number of Agreements
that led to the Agreement on Co-operation between South Africa and Flanders in
2000. Subsequently, during the meeting of President Thabo Mbeki with Minister
President Yves Lyterme in November 2005, the parties signed two further Declarations
of Intent in the fields of C-Operation on Small, Medium and Macro-enterprises
and of Gemmology and Mineral Beneficiation respectively.
The visit of Minister
Bourgeois follows on from the visit of President Thabo Mbeki to Belgium in November
2004. On that occasion Flanders committed itself to providing further development
co-operation over the next five years, particularly in the Free State, Kwa Zulu-Natal
and Limpopo provinces.
Since 2004 the two countries have been engaged in
jointly working out a new Country Strategy Paper for the period January 2005 -
December 2009 which addresses sectors such as agriculture, security, tourism,
and socio-economic development in the above mentioned three provinces. Flanders
has announced that it will provide an additional R200 million for the implementation
of this strategy over the next five years.
In regard to economic cooperation
in support of South Africa's second economy several Working Group meetings were
held during 2005 to implement the two Declarations of Intent in the fields of
Cooperation on Small, Medium and Micro-enterprises and of Gemmology and Mineral
Concerning SMME cooperation, South Africa and
Flanders agreed on the importance of promoting entrepeneurship; creating enabling
environments for businesses and entrepreneurs; and enhancing the competitiveness
and capacity of all vital economic actors. The objective is to have bilateral
projects in operation in 2006. In regard to Gemmology, it was decided that cooperation
will focus on the areas of Science and Technology, Education and Vocational Training
and Capacity building in the area of promotion of the diamond jewelry sector.
focus of Flemish Co-Operation programmes in South Africa has been on social development
with the emphasis on human resource development, poverty alleviation and health
issues. In addition over 50 joint research projects have been launched with Flanders,
focusing primarily on skills shortages in ICT and on communicable diseases.
the beginning of the 1900's competence for foreign trade and export promotion
was partly transferred to the three regions in Belgium, including Flanders. Three
regional foreign trade promotion bodies were subsequently created. At the same
time federal and regional governments were given competence to engage in international
relations in all policy domains under their competence.
Belgium is South
Africa's 6th largest trading partner, with a large part of this trade coming form
Exports to Belgium:
2003 - R 7,36 billion;
- R 7,21 billion
Exports to Belgium are rough diamonds, gemstones &
jewelry; minerals; automotive components like catalytic converters fruit; mineral
fuels; petroleum; distilled products; machinery & mechanical tools.
2003 - R 3,76 billion;
2004 - R 3, 83 billion
include pharmaceutical products; diamonds; synthetic materials; electrical machinery.
Direct Investment (FDI) flows from Belgium to South Africa amounts to R1,9 billion,
making Belgium the 10th largest foreign investor amongst EU countries.
Africa is also a popular destination for Belgian tourists and a large contingent
is from Flanders. During 2003 43 537 Belgian tourists visited South Africa.
SATURDAY, 30 APRIL 2005:
11.00: Arrival of media ahead of
Venue: Entrance -
Presidential Guest House
Lambrechts - 083 3807309
11.30: Photo opportunity at the start of the meeting
between Minister Dlamini Zuma and Minister Bourgeois.
Venue: Presidential Guest
For further enquiries please contact Hugo Lambrechts
by Ronnie Mamoepa
Department of Foreign Affairs