From Business Day Live
Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade, on Wednesday made short shrift of pleasantries in his opening remarks at the second South Africa-EU Business Forum, hosted by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation in Pretoria.
Mr De Gucht said European investors were watching South Africa carefully after the country unilaterally cut bilateral investment treaties with some European Union (EU) member states, including Belgium and Luxembourg, and indicated it would do the same with about a dozen other countries.
He said the EU accounted for 88% of total investment stock in South Africa in 2010. This meant about one-third of the country’s roughly R3-trillion economy was based on European investment.
“There was little consultation with us,” the trade commissioner said on Wednesday at the forum, themed “Building Business Partnerships for Growth and Employment” and taking place a day before the sixth South Africa-EU Summit.
This meant there had been no set framework for South Africa’s actions, Mr De Gucht said.
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