Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad to host Portuguese counterpart, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Professor João Cravinho, Tshwane, South Africa
17 November 2005
Tshwane – South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad will today (Thursday, 17 November 2005) host his Portuguese counterpart, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Professor João Cravinho for bilateral political and economic discussions in Tshwane.
Discussions between Deputy Minister Pahad and Secretary of State Cravinho come within the context of South Africa’s commitment to consolidate relations with countries of the North in order to achieve the developmental agenda of the South.
In this regard, Portugal, during its Presidency of the European Union (EU), made the strengthening of the European relations with Africa a priority that resulted in the first EU-Africa Summit being held in Cairo in April 2000.
In addition, Portugal as a member of the EU, is a great supporter of the achievement of the African agenda through EU sponsored development co-operation to South Africa.
Issues on the agenda of discussions between Deputy Minister Pahad and Secretary of State Cravinho are likely to include, among others:
* The status of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries;
* Developments in Africa with particular reference to Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Angola;
* African Union–EU co-operation; and
* Other multilateral issues of mutual concern including the comprehensive reform of the United Nations.
Secretary of State Cravinho is expected to pay a courtesy call on Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka while in South Africa and interact with members of the Portuguese community based in South Africa.
Secretary of State Cravinho is expected to depart from South Africa on Saturday, 19 November 2005.
Bilateral Economic Co-operation
Most important Portuguese investments in South Africa are the following:
* The Portuguese conglomerate, Sonae, bought Sappi-Novoboard (TAFESA) in 2004 and the Mpumalanga Investment Initiative has hopes for further Portuguese investments in projects in their province.
* The bigger Portuguese exporter of cork is also present in South Africa (Montague Park): Amorim Cork South Africa Pty.
* At a financial level, the biggest Portuguese bank (state owned) has a South African investment. The Mercantile Bank has 14 branches in South Africa, providing a full range of domestic and international services, as well as specialised financing, investment facilities and others. In 2002 BANCO PRIVADO, a privately owned Portuguese Bank reputed to have affluent Portuguese citizens as its clients, opened a branch in Johannesburg. BANIF bank has also several investments in South Africa, among them a branch in Bruma (Finance House).
Since 2002, the biggest Portuguese cement company is also present in the South African market with the Natal Portland Cement Company. With three factories (in Simuma, Durban and Newcastle), it produces 1 million ton per year and has 11% market share.
* Pestana Group, one of the major Portuguese hotel groups, invested on a hotel in Melalane (Kruger Park).
Bilateral Trade Statistics
2005 (Jan – May)
* Exports to Portugal: R343,640 million
* Imports from Portugal: R217,402 million
* Exports to Portugal: R728,245 million
* Imports from Portugal: R797,746 million
* Exports to Portugal: R754,734 million
* Imports from Portugal: R535,167 million
* Exports to Portugal: R 1,010,756 million
* Imports from Portugal: R594,523 million
Enquiries: Ronnie Mamoepa
Cell: 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
17 November 2005