President Jacob G. Zuma to undertake an official visit to the Kingdom of Belgium

President Zuma will undertake a visit to the Kingdom of Belgium on 28 - 29 September 2010. The primary focus of the visit is to attend the SA-EU Summit which will take place on 28 September 2010. The Summit will be followed by an Official visit to Belgium on 29 September 2010.

The visit takes place within the context of strengthening relations with strategic formations of the North with the objective of deepening and broadening the current bilateral relations between South Africa and the Kingdom of Belgium. The President will be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Co-operation, of Basic Education, of Science and Technology, of Trade and Industry, of Defence, of Home Affairs and of Water and Environment Affairs.

Belgium has remained among South Africa’s top ten trading partners and the eighth fastest growing export destination. The European Union is the number one destination for South African exports and Belgian ports remain an important entry point through which South African exports find their way to countries, both within and outside of the EU. Main export products from South Africa to Belgium include rough diamonds, iron, fresh fruit, bituminous coal, other ores; and manganese dioxide. Value-added exports primarily include automotive components, catalytic converters, as well as transport containers, road wheels and parts and accessories thereof.

Accordingly, the objectives of the visit will include:

  • the consolidation and enhancement of political relations (bilateral and multilateral),

  • the strengthening of economic and commercial relations,

  • the strengthening of development cooperation and partnership in support of education and skills development and

  • trilateral co-operation to promote peace and stability of the African continent.

The main items on 28 September 2010 will include the following;

  • courtesy call by Secretary- General of the ACP Group,

    • the President will receive the Secretary General of the ACP Group, Dr Mohamed Chambas. It is expected that the President will reaffirm the common ground between South Africa and the ACP Group.

  • the inauguration of the South African Chancery,

    • The official visit provides an opportunity to officially open the Chancery – an exercise that is long overdue.

On 29 September 2010, the main items of the Official visit will be as follows;

    • Tête-á-tête with His Majesty King Albert IIIt is expected that President Zuma will pay a courtesy call on the King of Belgium HE Albert II. The main objective will be to strengthen and enhance the bilateral relations.

  • Bilateral meeting between President Zuma and Prime Minister Leterme.

    • The President will engage the Belgian Prime Minister on Belgium’s continued support for initiatives geared towards promoting peace and stability on the African continent, especially in the Great Lakes Region.

    • The interaction will also be used to strengthen development cooperation and partnership in support of South Africa’s national priorities, especially, education and skills development. It is expected that a Visa Waiver Agreement between South Africa and the Benelux countries will be signed by the principals.

  • Brief meetings with Ministers-President of the Regions.

    • The President will also receive the Ministers-President of the Regional Governments.

For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za. Alternatively, please speak to the President’s Communications Adviser, Mr Zizi Kodwa, on +27 82 330 4910.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

OR Tambo Building
Soutpansberg Road
RIETONDALE
Pretoria, RSA
0002

23 September 2010

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