_: The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, will deliver a keynote address at the inaugural South Africa (SA)-European Union (EU) Business Forum in Brussels tomorrow. The event takes place on the eve of the 5th SA-EU Summit. Davies says that the event will provide business leaders an opportunity to develop common views on current conditions for trade and investment on both sides.
‘The forum will offer opportunities to reflect on the future, on where the parties would like to go. The forum will also give the smaller EU Member States an opportunity to get involved in the economic relations with South Africa. The latter expressed a desire to further develop economic relations with Central and Eastern European economies.
It is envisaged that the forum will become an annual event that will broaden the dialogue between SA and the EU’, he said. Minister Davies added that EU as a block remains South Africa’s key trading partners in the world accounting for more than 26 percent of our trade with the rest of the world.
‘Total trade between SA and EU indicates an increasing trajectory during the period 2007 t0 2011, except for a sharp decline in 2009. This decline can largely attributed to the Economic crises during that period which adversely affected developing countries’, added Minister Davies. It is expected that the forum will come up with a joint business declaration that will be handed over to the SA-EU Summit on Tuesday.