Deputy Minister van der Merwe holds Talks with Swedish Minister of Foreign Trade

Pretoria – South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sue van der Merwe oday, Friday 24 October 2008, hosted the Minister of Foreign Trade of Sweden, Dr Ewa Bjorling for bilateral political and economic discussions at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.  Dr Ewa Bjorling is on an official visit to South Africa from Wednesday-Friday 22-24 October 2008.

Deputy Minister van der Merwe has held discussions with Minister Bjorling within the context of South Africa’s commitment to strengthening and consolidating bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Sweden and to advance North-South relations.

Issues reflected upon during the meeting included, amongst others:

  • The World Trade Organisation negotiatons;
  • Economic Partnership Agreements;
  • African developments;
  • Trilateral Assistance; and
  • HIV & AIDS

Bilateral Relations

South Africa and Sweden enjoy dynamic historical relations and Sweden, just like other Nordic countries, has been a strong supporter of the struggle against colonialism and apartheid in Southern Africa for many years.

In addition Sweden has continued to be a strong supporter and partner in Southern Africa’s fight against poverty, under-development, HIV and AIDS, governance, internal conflicts, human rights and gender equality, amongst others.

South Africa and Sweden have also established the bi-annual meeting of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the two countries as a mechanism to manage dialogue and consultations between the two countries and further deepen existing warm relations. 

Bilateral Trade

South African exports to Sweden

2005   R1 589 864 000
2006   R2 968 624 000
2007   R2 974 801 000
2008   R   785 000 000 (March’08)

South African imports from Sweden

2005                           R4 857 250 000
2006                           R5 876 103 000
2007                           R8 116 109 000
2008                           R3 181 000 000 (March’08)

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152

24 October 2008



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