Media Alert: Premier to Discuss Trade Partnerships at Regional Leaders’ Summit
This week, Premier Helen Zille will attend the 8th Regional Leaders’ Summit, a gathering of regional governments who have entered into partnership agreements.
The Summit – to be hosted in Bavaria and Upper Austria on 14 and 15 July – is intended to reinforce various trade and business partnerships between member regions.
Regions in attendance will include Bavaria (Germany), Upper Austria (Austria), Québec (Canada), São Paulo (Brazil), Shandong (Peoples’ Republic of China), Georgia (USA) and the Western Cape (South Africa). This network of seven partner regions has a combined gross domestic product of about USD 3.3 trillion (or 3.0 trillion euros), with approximately 180 million inhabitants.
The theme for this year’s Summit is “Digitalisation and Innovation”.
The Summit will include discussions on how member states can partner with each other to advance their socioeconomic objectives, among other matters.
During this time, Premier Zille will hold discussions on behalf of the Western Cape, and will be accompanied by Minister of Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer, and Wesgro CEO, Mr Tim Harris.
Premier Zille will also utilise the visit to strengthen the bilateral relations with Upper Austria and Bavaria.
The bilateral relations with the Free State of Bavaria are managed by a Joint Working Group (JWG). The JWG is co-chaired by Minister Meyer, and Dr Beate Merk, Bavarian State Minister for European and International Affairs.
Of all the active bilateral relations of the Western Cape Province, the twinning arrangements with Upper Austria and Bavaria are the oldest. The first twinning arrangements were signed in 1995.
The relationship with Upper Austria, by way of example, has been going from strength to strength, with a framework for cooperation in the areas of:
- Education and youth;
- Technology, science, economy, energy and tourism;
- Nature conservation;
- Culture; and
Premier Zille will hold several stakeholder discussions in the coming days leading up to the start of the summit on Thursday.