Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad to Host Portuguese Counterpart, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Professor João Cravinho, Tshwane, South Africa

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 - European Union 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 SA (Montague Park): Amorim Cork South Africa Pty.

At a financial level, the biggest Portuguese bank (state owned) has a SA investment . The Mercantile Bank has 14 branches in SA, 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 SA, among them a branch in Bruma (Finance House).

Since 2002, the biggest Portuguese cement company is also present in the SA market with the Natal Portland Cement Company. With three factories (in Simuma, Durban and Newcastle), it produces 1 million/ton per year and has a 11% market share.

Pestana Group, one of the major Portuguese hotel groups, invested on a hotel in Melalane (Kruger Park).

Bilateral Trade Statistics

YearExports to PortugalImports from Portugal
2005 (Jan - May) R 343, 640millionR 217, 402 million
2004R 728, 245 million R 797, 746 million
2003R 754, 734 millionR 535, 167 million
2002R 1, 010,756 millionR 594,523 million

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

17 November 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa