Media Statement

18 July 2012

Deputy Minister Ebrahim to host UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Africa

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, will on Thursday, 19 July 2012, host the United Kingdom (UK) Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) responsible for Africa, Mr Henry Bellingham, for bilateral discussions.

The discussions will focus on a range of issues of common concern, including African issues and recent developments in the Middle East. 

Mr Bellingham is on a working visit to South Africa and Mozambique from 17 – 19 July 2012.

The bilateral meeting will take place within the context of strengthening North-South relations and consolidating the African Agenda.

The discussions between Deputy Minister Ebrahim and Mr Bellingham are expected to include the strengthening of bilateral political and economic relations; African regional matters and the United Kingdom’s engagement in support of the African Agenda.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom are rooted in the long history shared by the two countries and are extensive and multi-faceted, covering fields as diverse as science and technology, development cooperation, promoting trade and a rules-based international system. The frequent high-level visits in both directions underline this strategic relationship.

The UK is ranked SA’s fifth biggest export trading partner globally and its second biggest export trading partner in Europe (2011).  SA exports to the UK in 2011 were R28.8 billion and imports were R29.1 billion, giving a total of R57.9 billion

There is a healthy flow of investment in both directions. The UK is recognised as the foremost source of foreign direct investment into South Africa while South African companies have equally made large investments in the UK. 

The UK is by far South Africa’s most significant source of (non-African) tourists, a position it has not relinquished for the past 15 years.  Total tourism from the UK in 2011 was 420 483.

In spite of the global economic crisis, the UK continues to be a strategic pillar of support for South Africa. 

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +27 82 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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