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President Ramaphosa Aims to Build Stronger Ties With EU

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa address the European Parliament on November 14, 2018./Image by SA Presidency unit

 

During a joint press conference with the EP President Antonio Tajani on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said: “Our presence here is to consolidate this relationship, to grow it and to make sure that it helps us address the challenges that we have as a country.”

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The South African leader is expected to co-chair the 7th South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Summit on Thursday with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Issues to be discussed at the summit include progress on the SA-EU Strategic Partnership, including bilateral, political, and economical and development cooperation, as well as regional and global issues.

In 2019, South Africa will start serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council until 2020 alongside five EU Member States (namely France, the UK, Germany, Belgium and Poland).

According to a statement on the SA Presidency website, the EU is South Africa’s largest trading partner and largest foreign investor as a bloc, representing 73.7% of total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stocks in the country.

Ministers Rob Davies of Trade and Industry and Tito Mboweni of Finance are accompanying President Ramaphosa on his Europe visit.

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