President Jacob Zuma to host Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Tuynhuys. 10 September 2009
Pretoria –South African President Jacob Zuma will on Thursday 10 September 2009 host the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt for bilateral political, economic and trade discussions in Cape Town. President Zuma will be accompanied by the International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
President Zuma will host Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt within the context of South Africa’s priority to consolidate relations with Sweden with a view to strengthening the North-South dialogue in support of the African Agenda. Historically, Sweden and Other Nordic countries’ support of South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle was crucial and covered the entire political spectrum including support for grass roots organisation.
South Africa and Sweden enjoy cordial relations characterised by regular high-level dialogue, diverse bilateral development cooperation programmes and growing economic ties coupled with sound relations at a multilateral level including the UN Security Council. In addition, Prime Minister Reinfeldt, whose country currently heads the European Union’s rotating presidency, is expected to engage President Zuma on both the EU and his country’s position in the upcoming G20 summit in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh on September 24-25.
The signing in June 2008 of a Nordic-South African Declaration of Intent on Regional Partnerships in Africa, has put into place the basic principles and guidelines for future trilateral cooperation in the region where Sweden and South Africa - jointly - can add value to Africa’s own efforts to promote peace, security and development.
Accordingly, the main objectives to be achieved in discussions on the agenda include, among others:
- Global economic crisis and its effect both in Africa and Europe.
- Climate change and the upcoming COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009; and
- Promoting economic relations, with special emphasis on increased Swedish investment.
- Reviewing and improving institutional framework for development cooperation relations.
- Strengthening bilateral relations between South Africa and Sweden;
- Securing and enhancing Swedish support for the African Agenda;
- Progress on the political, regional and issues such as SADC including the latest outcomes of the SADC Summit in Kinshasa, 08 September 2009 and Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government and its implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA);
The trade balance between South Africa and Sweden continues to be in Sweden’s favour. The main trade sectors, both in imports and exports, include manufactured goods, machinery, automotive and transport goods, mining equipment, and chemicals and fuel products. The current visit by Prime Minister Reinfeldt aims, amongst other objectives, to reconcile the two countries trade imbalances.
- South African exports to Sweden have increased from R1.046 billion in 2000 to R3.412 billion in 2008 while imports from Sweden increased from R2.902 billion in 2000 to R13.432 billion in 2008.
- The trade balance between South Africa and Sweden in 2008 was -R10 020 070 069. From January to April 2009, the trade balance was -R3 776 125 817. The Swedish Trade Council in South Africa works with a number of organisations to promote trade between the two countries.
Prime Minister Reinfeldt will with President Zuma co-chair the Second South Africa-European Union Summit on Friday 11 September 2009 in Kleinmond, Cape Town.
Media Programme for the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Tuynhuys. 10 September 2009
Issued by Nomfanelo Kota on 082 459 3787
Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag x152
08 September 2009