Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. MR Reynders
Members of the delegations
Members of the media
We have just concluded a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of the of Kingdom of Belgium, His Excellency, Minister Didier Reynders who came to South Africa on a working visit.
We thank you for taking your time to visit our country. As South Africa we enjoy good bilateral relations with Belgium. These relations are based on shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy and similar approach to a number of international issues, particularly peace and security.
Together we will be occupying a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020. We used this meeting to among other things deepen our bilateral ties and to enhance continuous cooperation on peace and security issues, particularly those on the agenda of the UNSC.
We also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, such as the fight against racism, human rights, migration, climate and ecological changes, amongst others.
The main objectives of our meeting today were basically to achieve the following:
To expand and strengthen bilateral relations between our countries;
To revitalize economic relations with a specific focus on Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Tourism.
To enhance cooperation between our country and Belgium within the framework of the two countries’ non-permanent seats in the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020.
To enhance the African Agenda by promoting cooperation between the two countries on the Continent, with particular reference to the Great Lakes Region.
Belgian Foreign Direct Investment into South Africa was worth R10.11 billion in 2017, creating over 1000 job opportunities for our people. As we prepare for the upcoming Investor Conference in October 2018 which is aimed at attracting R1,3 trillion investment into the country, we are certain that Belgium is already part of the investment drive and will send its business representatives to the conference.
You have just witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Enhanced Cooperation between the two countries. This cooperation includes Joint Commission on bilateral relations, to hold High Level bilateral engagements to enhanced bilateral cooperation and intensify economic ties between our two countries.
We are certain that our bilateral relations with Belgium will continue to grow from strength to strength for the benefit of our peoples.
I thank you.