Media Release

09 May 2016

Deputy Minister Landers concludes visit to Dakar

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers has concluded a successful visit to Dakar, Senegal, where he represented the South African government at the 103rd Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Council of Ministers and the 41st Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers held from 25-29 April 2016.

South Africa believes that the ACP Group is an appropriate vehicle to enhance South-South cooperation and solidarity.  In this regard, a key element of South Africa's South-South and North-South engagement is the ACP which brings together 79 countries from three different global regions in order to discuss issues of common interest and to engage as a group on other issues with the EU.

South Africa managed to put across its position on the Economic Partnership Agreements, taking into consideration that it has an existing agreement with the European Union and also that the SADC region is in the process of finalising its agreement with the EU. Deputy Minister Landers expressed his confidence that the SADC-EU agreement will be concluded before the October deadline as discussions are underway amongst SADC member states.

The finalization of the SADC-EU EPAs will open up the EU markets for the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Deputy Minister Landers said the envisaged "agreement with the EU and SADC as a whole would be a positive step towards strengthening trade arrangements between the two regions and also respond to our region's economic growth potential".

Deputy Minister Landers also used the opportunity to call on developed countries to honor their commitments as contained in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Deputy Minister said: “The Paris Agreement has to be followed up so that commitments made by the developed countries are fulfilled".

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

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