Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde have arrived in South Africa for their inaugural State Visit to the country. We have written about the visit earlier. The State Visit will help grow and enhance the relationship between the two nations, focusing on commerce, foreign direct investment, and tourism. Their Majesties will be in the country until March 27, engaging with various stakeholders and visiting historical and cultural sites in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
South Africa and Belgium have strong economic ties, with Belgium being one of South Africa’s most important financial partners. The Port of Antwerp, the second biggest in the European Union, is where many South African exports go. The two nations want to collaborate on alternative energy, primarily green hydrogen.
Trade and Tourism
The King and Queen’s visit is expected to revitalize economic relations between the two countries, with a strong focus on trade, foreign direct investment, and tourism. Belgium is a significant investor in the South African economy, and organic chemicals remain South Africa’s key export to Belgium. In addition, Belgium is one of the top ten sources of international tourists to South Africa.
South Africa and Belgium work together through the Joint Commission, which comprises Deputy Foreign Ministers. On November 8, 2022, the Fourth Meeting of South Africa–Belgium Joint Commission was held in Pretoria. It was hosted by Alvin Botes, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
The official Belgian delegation consists of political, economic, and academic leadership, including the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hadja Lahbib, as well as Ministers-Presidents and representatives of the regions and communities of Belgium.
The King and Queen of Belgium’s visit to South Africa is a significant milestone in the two countries’ strong bilateral relations. Their presence in the country is expected to strengthen economic ties, promote trade and foreign direct investment, and encourage tourism. The visit is also an opportunity for the two countries to explore cooperation in renewable energy and deepen cultural and historical ties.