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South Africa to promote strategic partnership with EU: official


08:41, July 10, 2013

PRETORIA, July 9 (Xinhua) -- South Africa is ready to promote strategic partnership with the European Union for the benefit of common interests, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Such common interests "provide a natural foundation for a strategic partnership that significantly enhances existing cooperation by moving from mere political dialogue to active political cooperation on issues of mutual interest," Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim said in a press briefing in Pretoria.

For this purpose, South Africa will host the 6th SA-EU Summit on July 18 this year, Ebrahim said. The summit is expected to enhance South Africa's engagements with Europe around a central theme, namely "Job Creation through Inward Investment."

Since 1994, when apartheid was brought to an end, South Africa and the EU have developed a comprehensive partnership based on the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).

Ebrahim said a guiding principle for the SA-EU Strategic Partnership is that it must support South Africa's national, regional and African priorities and programmes to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment.

From a trade perspective, the EU has maintained its lead as South Africa's most important regional trading partner. SA-EU total trade grew 13 percent in 2011 year-on-year. The EU foreign direct investment stock in South Africa comprises 77 percent of South Africa's total FDI stock.

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