South Africa and Germany to deepen bilateral ties
South Africa and Germany are poised to strengthen bilateral relations and to work together closely in pursuit of African development and global peace and security.
This mutual commitment flowed from a meeting in Berlin, Germany, between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chancellor Angela Merkel. The meeting signified the start of President Ramaphosa’s two-day working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany.
The President was is in Germany to participate in the just concluded G20 Africa Conference, assess progress made with the G20 Partnership with Africa and the Compact with Africa (CwA). The CwA was formally launched during the G20 Hamburg conference in July 2017 and comprises 12 African countries.
The Compact is based on the premise that significant economic development can be achieved when African countries, G20 members, development partner countries, and international organisations work together to create a better environment for private investment.
In his meeting with Chancellor Merkel, President Ramaphosa expressed South Africa’s appreciation for Germany’s ongoing bilateral assistance in critical development areas like health and skills development.
President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Merkel reflected on measures taken by South Africa to improve the investment environment, including addressing policy uncertainty.
President Ramaphosa also noted that several German companies had made investment announcements during the recent South Africa Investment Conference and that German companies played a significant role in developing skills and building capacity in South Africa.
Furthermore, President Ramaphosa reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to constitutional principles, rule of law and inclusivity in land reform.
The two leaders agreed that bilateral relations would be strengthened through the Binational Commission which will be convened early in 2019.
President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Merkel also agreed on intensified cooperation in the United Nations Security Council during the two countries’ respective UNSC terms in 2019-2020.
South Africa and Germany are committed to working together to ensure that the Security Council contributes meaningfully to resolving important questions on international peace and security.
This is of particular importance to Africa, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the Security Council agenda.
The President and the Chancellor also agreed on the importance of continuing with the G20 Compact with Africa initiative, and committed to an expansion of trade and investment between South Africa and Germany.
South African exports to Germany increased by just over 16% increase from 2016 to 2017 to 7.2 billion euros, which narrowed the trade deficit.
Beyond bilateral governmental relations, South Africa’s relationship with Germany is reflected in the record number of German tourists – over 300,000 – who visited South Africa in 2016.
Germany is South Africa’s third largest trade partner. Approximately 100 000 people are employed by 600 German companies that are active in South Africa.