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President Zuma calls for more EU investment – Business Leaders

September 20, 2012 No Comments »

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President Jacob Zuma is looking to strengthen South Africa’s partnership with the European Union and encourage more EU investment.

He met with EU leaders earlier this week at the 5thSouth Africa-European Union Summit in Brussels to discuss increasing two-way trade between them.

He said: “We expressed our desire to see a further strengthening in the implementation of Africa-EU partnership in view of the potential to deepen cooperation and trade.

 “The EU remains a valued partner for crises prevention and development; the first five years of the partnership have laid a solid foundation.”

 The EU is South Africa’s largest trading partner and leading investor for the country’s foreign direct investments.

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 President Zama’s comments were made to encourage more investment as the South African government launches a huge infrastructure drive.

 In February, South African Finance Minister Pravin Godhan announced the government would spend R3.2 trillion over the next three years on at least 40 major infrastructure projects in the country.

 He also assured EU leaders that investors had nothing to fear from investing in the country and went on to allay their concerns following the recent tragedy at Marikana where striking miners were shot and killed by police officers.

 Zuma said: “We remain a democratic country we are in control of the situation; South Africa remains the destination for investments.”

 South Africa is one of only 10 countries with which the EU has what are called strategic partnerships.

Figures  released last week by the EU Commission show the value of EU exports to South Africa reached a peak of -26.6-billion in 2011, while imports from SA rose to -20.5-billion, though still off the peak level of 2007, resulting in a -6.1-billion trade surplus in favour of the EU.

EU foreign direct investments in South Africa stood at -7.1-billion in 2010, compared with -8.6-billion in 2009 and -3.2-billion in 2008.

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