Deputy Minister Pahad has Arrived in Portugal

Lisbon - South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad has arrived in Portugal ahead of an official visit scheduled for Monday - Tuesday, 9-10 May.

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 especially since the European Union is a key player in the Quartet sponsored Roadmap;
  • Parliamentary co-operation between both countries and the Africa through the Pan-African Parliament; and
  • Global issues of mutual interest including the reform of all institutions of the United Nations.

Deputy Minister 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.

Bilateral Economic Relations

  • 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.
  • The 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 company, Viking.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

8 May 2005

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