Mashabane in talks with Belgian minister

2013-06-12 13:28
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (Picture: Sapa)

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (Picture: Sapa)

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Brussels - International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders met on Tuesday to exchange views on issues such as peace and security.

The talks were held behind closed doors at Palais d’Egmont in Brussels, Belgium’s capital.

Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the two reviewed the state of bilateral co-operation and exchanged views on a host of issues including the global economy and the Great Lakes region.

"With regards to bilateral relations, the ministers expressed satisfaction with the increased levels of trade, investment and deepening co-operation between the two countries," he said.

Notes on Great Lakes region exchanged

Africa’s Great Lakes region has been plagued by decades of political instability and armed conflicts, porous borders and humanitarian crisis, along with tensions over natural resources.

"The ministers exchanged notes on the situation in the Great Lakes, and expressed their concern about peace and security in the region as well as the deteriorating humanitarian situation," said Monyela.

"They agreed to support the on-going process to stabilise the region, particularly the Eastern DRC."

Mashabane briefed Reynders about the socio-economic and political developments in South Africa, including the National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.

Belgium is South Africa's 12th largest export destination globally, and fourth in the European Union.

Important source of tourism for SA

Total exports from South Africa to Belgium stood at R15.3bn and total imports at R10.3bn in 2012.

Belgium ranks as the sixth-biggest investor in South Africa, and fourth-biggest source of official development from Europe, with €50m committed until 2016.

Mashabane noted that Belgium remained an important source of tourism for South Africa, with a record figure of 44 125 Belgian tourists visiting South Africa last year alone. This placed it in 15th position globally as a long-haul source of tourism.

Mashabane and Reynders expressed satisfaction with preparations for a large Belgian trade and investment mission to South Africa, to be led by Belgium's Prince Phillipe, in October.

"They expressed hope that this mission would lead to the expansion and deepening of trade and investment between the two countries," said Monyela.
Read more on:    maite nkoana-mashabane  |  belgium

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