Pretoria, 8 November 2022 (TDI): The Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Alvin Botes will be hosting the Fourth Meeting of the South Africa-Belgium Joint Commission in Pretoria, today.

A delegation led by Theodora Gentzis, the Belgian Secretary General will visit South Africa for the Joint Commission.

South Africa and Belgium have maintained cordial bilateral relations. Both countries have always sought to project their relations higher. Consequently, a joint commission to ensure that such relations remain intact had been established.

South Africa-Belgium Joint Commission

The Joint Commission will ensure that both countries evaluate relations in both trade, diplomatic ties, and economic support. Also, the two sides will swap expertise in the current global issues.

These include education, climate change, as well as pandemics. The commission also aims to ensure that both countries’ relationships in the international community are seen and well contributed.

Likewise, the agenda is to highlight South Africa’s contribution to the United Nations (UN). South Africa and Belgium, both are members of the UN General Assembly and contribute to international diplomatic matters of the UN.

South Africa-Belgium ties

Belgium is one of South Africa’s most significant trading partners. It is a significant trading partner, investment source, and tourist destination.

In many areas, especially those involving science and innovation and with partners in the production of vaccines, there is good cooperation.

By the end of June 2022, total trade had reached R79 billion, and South Africa had a sizable trade surplus. Organic chemicals are South Africa’s main export to Belgium, while pharmaceutical products are its main import.

Also read: South Africa at 77th UNGA

Belgium has historically been a significant source of tourists to South Africa. Around 55,000 Belgian tourists visited South Africa annually in the years before the pandemic.

This number decreased in 2020 and 2021, but it has increased this year, especially since Air Belgium started offering direct flights in September 2022 between Brussels, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.