4 two-sided trade
5 The South Africa-European Union (EU) Strategic Partnership operates under the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which was ratified in 2004. The EU is South Africa’s largest trading partner as a bloc. Since the adoption of the TDCA, total trade has increased from R150 billion in 2000 to R843 billion in 2021. Exports to the EU have increased steadily over the years, rising from R64 billion to 2000 to R482 billion in 2021. During the same period, EU imports also increased from R86 billion in 2000 to R361 billion in 2021.
6 President Ramaphosa welcomed the reflection on the strengthening and growth of existing bilateral trade ties and the commitment to resolve current and urgent trade issues, in particular on the export of citrus products from South Africa to the EU. President Ramaphosa supported the process of further discussions to be held at ministerial level to find a solution that would allow sustained trade in the citrus sub-sector.
7 Peace and security
8 President Ramaphosa was encouraged by the EU’s expression of support for the efforts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to stabilize the security situation in Mozambique. South Africa, the EU and SADC share a common obligation to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region and the rest of Africa.
9 Food safety
10 President Ramaphosa welcomed President Michel’s pledge committing the European Union to support Africa’s efforts to achieve food security and lessen the continent’s dependence on agricultural inputs that are exported from other parts of the world. In this regard, a joint project plan was agreed to help Africa develop its own fertilizer production capacity. The commitment follows the positive reception of President Ramaphosa’s proposal to the G7 countries at the recent G7 summit in Germany that Africa be allowed to invest in its fertilizer development to tackle food insecurity.
11 strategic partnership
12 President Ramaphosa applauded the positive development of the EU-Africa partnership, which continues to flourish after the AU-EU Summit held in February 2022 in Brussels. Close ties have facilitated more open and practical engagements on various trade, political, and peace and security issues.