Deputy Minister Pahad to Consolidate Bilateral Relations in
Portugal and Spain
Pretoria - South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz
Pahad will pay officials visits to Portugal and Spain from Monday - Tuesday, 9-10
May and Wednesday - Friday, 11-13 May respectively.
The visit to Europe
by Deputy Minister Pahad comes in the context of South Africa's foreign policy
whose central thrust remains the consolidation of the African agenda including
building strategic, strong and vibrant bilateral political and economic relations
with the global community.
While in Portugal, Deputy Minister
Pahad is scheduled to hold bilateral political and economic discussions with his
counterpart Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation João
Cravinho, Director-General for External Policy in the Foreign Ministry and Former
Ambassador to South Africa Fernando Pereira, and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary
Committee for Foreign Affairs, Luis Arnaut.
Issues on the agenda of discussions
are expected to include:
· The consolidation of bilateral political
and economic co-operation between both countries;
· The African agenda
and European support for NEPAD as the programme through which to alleviate underdevelopment
and poverty in Africa;
· The consolidation of North-South relations;
· The role of Europe and South Africa in the resolution of the crisis
in the Middle East;
· Parliamentary co-operation between both countries
and the Africa through the Pan-African Parliament; and
· Global issues
of mutual interest including the reform of the United Nations.
Pahad will also hold discussions with the Chairperson of Socialist International,
António Guterres regarding preparations for the forthcoming Progressive
Governance Summit to be hosted by South Africa in October 2005.
· Exports to Portugal amounted to R754,7 m in
2003 (down from R1, 010 bn in 2002) and imports amounted to R535, 2 m (down from
R595 m in 2002); South Africa enjoys a positive trade balance of R 219,5 m (down
from R 415 000 in 2002).
· FDI flows from Portugal amounted to R314
m for the period 1999-2002.
· The most important South African exports
to Portugal are coal, steel products, frozen fish, fruit juices, fruit, vegetables,
wood and granite. Main imports from Portugal are cork, machinery, textile fibres,
cables, electronic equipment and articles of sound and image.
largest South African company operating in Portugal is the Abadare Cables subsidiary,
Alcobre, that manufactures cables for the telecommunications industry. The SA
property company, Homenet, has an office in Lisbon while two smaller new companies,
Peixe do Cabo (fresh fish) and Chef Works ARDOCRAI LDA (Chefs outfits) are also
present. SmartPac, a "smart card" company has an agreement with the
local company Prism and South African Netcare established a partnership with the
Portuguese private health care company, Private Hospitals of Portugal (HPP) on
2 August 2004. In addition there are also a number of ostrich breeding companies
who have strong Southern African connections as well as various small importing
and exporting companies especially in the linen and curtaining industry.
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 Portuguese family company Gelpeixe
imports large quantities of South African hake and other fish from the South African
On conclusion of the visit to Portugal, Deputy
Minister Pahad will visit Spain from Wednesday - Friday, 11 - 13 May 2005 where
he will co-chair, with his Spanish counterpart Leon Gross, the second session
of the South Africa - Spain Annual Consultations on Friday, 13 May 2005 in Madrid.
on the agenda of discussions are expected to include:
· The consolidation
of bilateral political and economic relations;
· The African agenda
including conflict and post-conflict resolution efforts underway in Côte
d'Ivoire, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea. It is also expected that both sides will
exchange views on the current situation in Western Sahara; and
of global interest including the reform of all institutions of the United Nations,
the Barcelona Process, the situation between Palestine and Israel and Iraq.
addition Deputy Minister Pahad is also scheduled to participate in the Spanish
Annual Seminar on Sub-Saharan Africa in Tenerife on Thursday, 12 May 2005. Deputy
Minister Pahad will deliver an opening address to the seminar and participate
in a discussion entitled, "Africa as a New Political Priority."
in the seminar also include Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos; Premier
of the Canary Islands, Mr A Martin; Said Djinnit, African Union Commissioner for
Peace and Security; Mr Wickstead, the Executive Secretary of Prime Minister Blair's
Commission for Africa; Miguel Angel Navarro, Spanish Secretary-General for the
European Union; and Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Bilateral Economic Relations
Exports to Spain amounted to R6,2 bn in 2003 (down from R6,4 bn in 2002) and imports
amounted to R3,8 bn (up from R3,5 in 2002); South Africa enjoys a positive trade
balance of R2,4 bn (down from R2.9 in 2002).
· For the period 1999-2002,
Spain was the 18th largest investor to South Africa. During this period, it invested
$ 246 m (R2, 020 bn)- Source: Business Map.
· Economic relations with
Spain are excellent and shows a strong potential for further growth and development.
The El Corte Ingles project has not only brought in R 65 m estimated purchase
of South African goods, provided the benefit of a South African marketing campaign
estimated at R10 m, but also provides an opportunity to permanent future market
access for SA niche goods. It will provide opportunities to about 100 SMMEs including
10 BEEs. Tourism figures estimated at about 20 000 Spanish tourists (among two
highest spending sender countries) could quadruple according to estimates from
SAA and tour operators in SA. Deputy Minister L Hendricks will preside at the
launch in Madrid on 20 May 2005.
· Several Spanish companies are currently
involved in business ventures in South Africa, for example "Dragados y Construcciones"
is involved in the construction of the Bakwena Platinum High Way, while Acerinox
purchased an equity stake in Columbus Steel valued at E 232 m (64% of the company).
"Dragados y Construcciones" is a construction company that is
actively involved in the construction industry in South Africa. It is one of the
foreign partners in the consortium of construction companies that was awarded
the tender for the N4 Bakwena Platinum highway. Dragados is also a key partner
in one of the two consortia bidding for the Gauteng Rapid Rail project. Some Spanish
companies are also interested in the Coega IDZ.
Acerinox recently purchased
an equity stake in Columbus Steel (64% of the company valued at Euro 232 m). The
managerial expertise brought by Acerinox resulted in a net profit of R224 m at
the end of 2002.
· The Gauteng MEC for Finance and Economic Affairs,
Mr J Moleketi in a report stated that Grupo Antolin (a Spanish company) was in
a joint venture with a BEE company, Tensile Rubber Mouldings and would soon establish
operations at the envisaged automotive supplier park in Rosslyn, Pretoria.
A further issue is that the Spanish Government expressed interest in is the Gauteng
Rapid Rail Project in which the major Spanish construction company, Grupo Dragados,
is bidding jointly with LTA of South Africa for the project.
Embassy in Madrid has entered into a partnership with the Confederation of Spanish
Business (CEOE) and has planned a comprehensive "Economic Plan of Action"
for 2004/5 which entails joint road shows to various important regions of Spain
to promote exports and FDI.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
6 May 2005