SA, Germany fortify bilateral relations

Monday, March 9, 2009
By: 
Bathandwa Mbola

Berlin - Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is to meet with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday to review existing bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa and Germany.

The two ministers are expected to discuss South Africa's preparations towards hosting the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Germany was host to the previous events and has signed an agreement with South Africa to share its knowledge and experiences. It's assistance to the South African Local Organising Committee and sport authorities will ensure that the World Cup is as successful as the previous one.

Minister Dlamini Zuma's visit is part of a four-nation European tour aimed at consolidating relations between South Africa with European countries and consolidating the African Agenda.

The tour will include Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

During her visit, Minister Dlamini Zuma will address the African Diplomatic Corps based in Berlin to exchange views on African developmental issues.

She is expected to interact with the German businesses co-hosted by the Deutsche Afrika-Stiftung and the Deutsche Industrie -und Handelskammer to discuss the current global financial and economic crisis.

In 2007, Germany was South Africa` second largest export market. Bilateral relations include trade and investment, science and technology, defence, culture, environment, tourism, sport, development co-operation as well as energy.

These are regulated through existing bilateral committees that meet regularly throughout the year at ministerial and official's levels.

Exports amounted to R45billion in 2008 indicating a strong growth from previous years from R20 billion in 2004. On the other hand in 2007 Germany was South Africa's largest source of imports.

By 2008 imports amounted to R77 billion having grown from R44 billion in 2004.