South Africa will push for greater flexibility on agricultural exports to Europe in the upcoming SA-EU summit, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday. “There are still some outstanding matters of give and take,” Davies told reporters in Pretoria. He was speaking ahead of the 6th South Africa-European Union summit in Pretoria on Thursday.
The South African delegation will be led by President Jacob Zuma, who will meet European Council president Herman van Rompuy and EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso. Davies said he was confident the talks would prove fruitful, but said there were some delicate trade subjects up for discussion.
Outlining the trade relationship between South Africa and the EU bloc, he said the levels of trade with Europe were nowhere near what they were in 2008, before the onset of the global economic crisis. Total trade with the EU was R419bn in 2008. “The total trade with EU countries last year was R383bn… so it’s still way off the figure we achieved in 2008.”