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Cameron pledges SA trade surge

Jul 18 2011 12:18 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - The UK and South Africa are committed to doubling bilateral trade by 2015, visiting UK Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

Addressing a news conference after talks with South African President Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Cameron, on his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa since taking office in May 2010, noted that trade between the two countries was currently valued at around £9bn.

He described the relationship between the two countries as "strong", saying the two countries were dedicated to making it even stronger.

Cameron intimated that a large part of his role was to boost the British economy and establish trade links, which was the main purpose of this trip.

He noted that there were two sides to Africa - the starving as well as the booming parts - and that the UK wanted to play a key role in the continent's transformation. He said South Africa presented a "gateway to that economic future".

Cameron said the UK wished to seize the opportunity of a booming Africa, adding that the UK would invest in key trade areas on the continent.

He mentioned that the UK had earmarked two million pounds to help alleviate suffering in the Horn of Africa, which situation he described as "catastrophic".

President Zuma said the two leaders had discussed a huge range of issues, particularly trade matters. They also discussed Libya and Zimbabwe.

"All of us feel we need to resolve the Libyan question," Zuma said, adding that he was very happy to hear in greater detail the European Union's view on the matter.

Zuma said he was also able to enlighten the UK leader on the progress being made with regard to Zimbabwe.

Cameron praised South Africa for its leadership in trying to resolve the Libyan crisis and urged all sides to try to avoid any further loss of life in the region.

He also believed that Libya should decide its own future.

The British Prime Minister also supported a democratic Zimbabwe with a roadmap to plot the way forward and "credible" elections.

In closing, Cameron said he was proud to be here in South Africa on the historic occasion of former president Nelson Mandela's 93rd birthday, saying Mandela was an inspiration to the world.



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