A European delegation, headed by EU ambassador to South Africa Mr Roeland van de Geer and comprising of trade and economic counselors of the EU member states represented in South Africa, is visiting KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) until 2 October 2013.
The programme includes a tour of Richards Bay Port, Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, Durban Port and Dube Trade Port; discussions with the Zululand and Durban Chambers of Commerce and a reception dinner at the Hilton Hotel Durban, hosted by the DEDT, TIKZN and eThekwini Municipality for delegates, the Diplomatic Corps and business.
Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), the official investment promotion agency for KZN, is hosting the delegation.
Ambassador van de Geer said: "It is a great pleasure for me to lead this EU delegation to KZN to learn more about the province's trade and investment opportunities. We have met a number of key players and toured both Richards Bay and eThekwini investment destinations, including their respective ports. We have also exchanged views with local business leaders and representatives."
Mr Zamo Gwala, CEO of Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal, said: "Part of our strategy to promote the Province as the premier investment and trade destination is regular interactions and updates with the Diplomatic Corps in Gauteng. We have arranged visitations for the EU delegation to some of the catalytic projects and initiatives in the province."
Current cooperative agreements between the EU and SA include a Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement, signed in 1999 and reviewed in 2009, and a EU-SA Joint Action Plan of 2007, establishing the EU-SA Strategic Partnership.
There are also a variety of agreements between SA and EU Member states. Included is the co-operative agreement between the province Of KwaZulu-Natal (Republic Of South Africa) and the state Of Baden-Wurttemberg (Federal Republic of Germany).
The province of KwaZulu-Natal and the state of Baden-Wurttemberg are driven by the desire for the strengthening of economic, trade and investment, scientific, cultural and human relations.
KZN and Baden-Wurttemberg are assured in the belief that firm and friendly relations between the two regions will assist and promote mutual growth and development.
The promotion of development and co-operation and the exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise will focus on the following fields:
- the enhancement of economic development through trade and investment;
- enhancement of the Provincial Food Security programme through exchange of knowledge and expertise;
- agriculture development and agribusiness;
- education and training, and