Western Europe

Western Europe, and the European Union specifically, is increasingly becoming a significant force in the world today. Europe is the foremost trade partner, investor, donor and technological partner as well tourist provider to South Africa. As a result of Europe’s deep historical links with Africa through colonisation, it is involved in all spheres - economic, political and social - on the continent.

Europe, and specifically the EU countries, are amongst South Africa’s key trading partners. Since 1994 bilateral trade statistics have showed a consistent pattern of increase, and further more indicated that the two-way trade has become more balanced, with South Africa starting to show trade surpluses in some important European markets. The ratification by all fifteen EU member states of the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) should further aid in the growth of South African exports to Europe.

Europe is significantly involved in and committed in varying degrees to the promotion of peace, stability, and social and economic growth and development of the African continent. Many European countries are becoming increasingly disposed to supporting peace initiatives and building peacekeeping capacity.

(Also see: South Africa and the European Union)

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa