SA and Belgium trade grows

South Africa’s exports to Belgium topped R15 billion in 2012.

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The International Relations Department on Wednesday said exports from South Africa to Belgium topped R15 billion in 2012, a sign of growing trade between the two nations.

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane held talks earlier with her counterpart and the deputy prime minister in that country; looking at various issues ranging from the global economy to conflict zones in Africa.

The meeting comes ahead of a major trade mission from Belgium to South Africa in October.

The talks covered various turbulent countries including Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mashabane cancelled a planned trip to Turkey due to the ongoing unrest in that country.

Her spokesman Clayson Monyela said, "South Africa continues to monitor the situation in that country. Our call would be for a meaningful political engagement amongst all the roleplayers with a view to finding a lasting peaceful solution."

Turkey has been marred by anti-government protests in recent weeks.

The protesters are against plans to demolish an Istanbul city centre park and turn it into a shopping centre.

However, the protests quickly turned into anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

At least three people have died during the unrest.