Netherlands and South Africa in bilateral agreement talks

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South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sue van der Merwe, departed Monday for the Netherlands where she will hold bilateral political, economic and trade discussions with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende of Holland Tuesday.

Her visit to the Netherlands comes within the context of South Africa’s determination to strengthen bilateral political, economic and trade relations with the Netherlands and with a view to consolidating North-South relations.

South Africa and the Netherlands enjoy excellent political relations characterised by regular high-level dialogues, diverse bilateral co-operation projects and growing bilateral trade.

In addition to sharing a history, common language and cultural heritage, the two countries also share a wide diplomatic agenda.

The Netherlands played an important role in the liberation of South Africa and continues to play important roles in supporting transformation in post-apartheid South Africa.

In this regard, the meeting between Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka and Prime Minister Balkenende will seek to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations and acknowledge the contribution of the Netherlands to trilateral cooperation in support of Security Sector Reform in the Great Lakes Region.

While in the Netherlands, Mlambo-Ngcuka will pay a courtesy call on His Royal Highness Crown Prince William Alexander of Orange, the Speaker of the Dutch Parliament, meet captains of industry and former members of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

South Africa and the Netherlands have a long history of economic co-operation which has received new impetus with the democratic processes and the opening of markets in South Africa since 1994.

Today, the Netherlands is the fifth largest destination of South African exports and ranks as the fifth largest foreign investor in South Africa.

South Africa is the main trading partner of the Netherlands in Africa.

South African exports are mainly minerals, metals and agricultural products, while imports from the Netherlands included chemicals, pharmaceutical and agricultural products. Panapress.

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