Media Statement

19 November 2021

Minister Pandor arrives in Brussels for SA – Belgium, SA – EU Meeting

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has this morning, 19 November 2021, arrived in Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium, where she will hold meetings aimed at strengthening cooperation between South Africa and Belgium and between South Africa and the European Union (EU).

Minister Pandor is scheduled to meet Mr Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Ms Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for Development; Ms Sophie Wilmès, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium; and Ms Meryame Kitir, the Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy.

Belgium is one of South Africa’s most important economic partners. Many of South Africa’s exports enter Europe through the Belgian Port of Antwerp.

In 2020, Belgium was South Africa’s 11th largest export market and sixth largest source of foreign direct investment.

On matters relating to COVID-19, Belgium’s known reputation in research and pharmaceuticals has enabled the country to play a strategic role in the world’s battle against the pandemic.

It is therefore expected that Minister Pandor will explore possibilities for further collaboration between South Africa and Belgium in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Pandor’s meeting with Mr Borrell will focus on further strengthening the South Africa–EU Strategic Partnership. This will include, among other things, reflecting on the outcomes of the COP26, reviewing the state of peace and security in Africa and discussing preparations for the 6th AU-EU Summit.

It is expected that the meeting with Ms Urpilainen will focus on further enhancing South Africa-EU development cooperation.

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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