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President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Belgium for Working Visit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Wednesday, 14 November 2018, arrived in Brussels, in the Kingdom of Belgium, on the second leg of his two-day working visit to the European Union (EU).

The working visit commenced in Strasbourg, France, earlier today where President Ramaphosa addressed the European Parliament.

President Ramaphosa also met with the European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Senior European Union leadership

Today President Ramaphosa will pay courtesy calls on His Majesty King Philippe Léopold Louis Marie of the Kingdom of Belgium, and on Prime Minister Charles Michel.

The President will receive a courtesy call from the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, His Excellency Geert Bourgeois.

President Ramaphosa will co-chair the 7th South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Summit with the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker.

Issues to be discussed at the Summit will include progress on the SA-EU Strategic Partnership; bilateral political, economic and development cooperation, and regional and global issues.

South Africa will serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2019-2020 alongside five EU Members States (France and the UK as permanent members and Germany, Belgium and Poland as elected members).

South Africa is the only African country, and one of 10 globally, that has a Strategic Partnership with the EU. The Summit takes place under the auspices of the Magôbagôba Dialogue, which was established in 2007, as the umbrella structure for all cooperation between South Africa and the EU.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Belgium are underpinned by shared values of freedom and democracy and a similar approach to a broad range of international issues, specifically peace and security.

South African exports to Belgium include precious stones, organic chemicals, iron, steel and manufactured goods whilst relations between Flanders and South Africa is largely driven by development cooperation, but also includes culture, science and innovation, youth policy, education, economy and trade.

The EU is South Africa’s largest trading partner and largest foreign investor as a bloc, representing 73.7 percent of total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stocks in the country.

President Ramaphosa is supported on this visit by Ministers Rob Davies of Trade and Industry and Tito Mboweni of Finance.

Source: Government of South Africa

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