Joint Communiqué: Annual Political Consultations between
South Africa and Spain, Madrid, 13 May 2005
Mr Aziz Pahad, the Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa paid an official visit to Spain
from the 11 to the 13 May 2005, at the invitation of Mr. Bernardino Leon Gross,
the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Latin America.
the visit, Mr Pahad and Mr Leon, co-chaired the second Annual Political Consultations
between South Africa and Spain held in Madrid on 13 May 2005.
comprised senior officials representing the following Ministries: Foreign Affairs,Trade
and Tourism and Culture.
The consultations took place in a constructive
and amicable atmosphere. Since the last Annual Consultations were held in 2004,
general elections took place in both countries.
Both sides agreed that,
this has contributed to an encouraging convergence of views and closer co-operation
on foreign policy issues and to an increasing number of official visits enhancing
political and economic ties.
The discussions were continued over an official
working lunch by Secretary of State Leon during which the various sectoral groups
gave feedback on the outcome of their deliberations.
The following are the
results of the discussions of the various sectors:
1. Political relations
sides agreed that, the current state of bilateral relations were excellent but
that, there was further room for expansion particularly in the economic sector.
positive trend regarding the development of economic ties between the two countries
was noted and measures to further strengthen economic ties were discussed. The
South African side stated that the increasing interest of Spanish business to
explore investment opportunities, was most encouraging. The opportunities and
synergies between Spain, Latin America and Africa in the economic sphere was emphasised
and needed to be further explored. The importance of NEPAD, as the AU´s
economic development programme, as well as opportunities existing for Spanish
business in Africa, was stressed.
The need for further high-level visits,
particularly on Head of State/ government was emphasised by both sides and will
receive due attention.
It was also agreed that a MOU on cooperation between
the two countries should be finalised as soon as possible. This would facilitate
the cooperation between South Africa and Spain in the sectors identified and agreed
upon by both parties and included in the MOU.
The two sides also noted
that, progress has been made with cooperation in the defence, science and technology,
health and agriculture sectors in the meantime and that, it should be endeavoured
to include these sectors in future Annual Consultations.
two sides held an in depth and wide ranging discussion on the African Agenda.
Deputy Minister Pahad briefed the Spanish side on developments in SADC, AU, NEPAD
with special reference to regional integration processes, South Africa´
s role in conflict resolution in the DRC, the Great Lake area, Côte d´Ivoire
and Sudan. As a member of the AU´s Peace and Security Council, South Africa
stressed that, it will do all it can to ensure the effective function of this
important instrument of African peace and that South Africa will continue to seek
Spanish and EU cooperation and partnership in this regard. In this context the
importance of the resumption of the EU/ Africa dialogue at the highest level was
The Spanish side also briefed the South African side on the Barcelona
Euro-Mediterranean process, as well as on their diplomatic endeavours for the
parties to reach a negotiated solution on the Western Sahara.
It was agreed
that consultation and cooperation on African issues, should be effectively expanded.
Both sides confirmed their unequivocal support
for the principle of effective multilateralism.
The Spanish side briefed
the South African side on the latest developments, regarding the Alliance of Civilizations
Initiative, submitted by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
at UNGA in 2004. Deputy Minister Pahad reaffirmed South Africa´ s support
in principle for this important initiative. Both sides agreed to strengthen their
cooperation, to attain common goals regarding the fight against poverty, hunger
and under-development. In this context the achievement of the Millennium Development
Goals was critical.
In this respect the two sides committed themselves
to work towards a successful conclusion of the UN Summit that will take place
in New York in September, and a comprehensive reform of the Organization.
wide ranging exchange on the Middle-East, in particular the Palestine/ Israel
crisis was held. Both sides agreed on the need to promote a just, global and lasting
peace based on a two state solution.
2. Trade, Economic and Financial
- The two sides noted the very positive growth experienced
in trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
- In particular,
as far as trade relations are concerned, both sides agreed on the importance of
South Africa market and the wide opportunities it offers to Spanish companies
also as a gateway or platform to other Southern African Countries. Both sides
agreed to further promote trade, and the Spanish side noted its desire to reach
a higher equilibrium in trade relations. Both sides stressed out the importance
in this context of the SA/EU agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation to
enhance trade relations and expressed their interest on the conclusion as soon
as possible of the negotiations for the liberalization of the automotive sector
with a satisfactory result for both parties.
- As far as investments relations
are concerned both parts agreed on the huge possibilities offered by SA to attract
Spanish investors. In this regard, a large discussion was developed on the potential
sectors to increase co-operation between companies of both countries in areas
such as infrastructure, tourism, telecommunications, automotive, mining, financing,
etc. Both parties exchanged information on main projects in course participated
by Spanish companies. A special reference was made to the Gautrain project where
the Gauliwe Consortium participated by two Spanish companies has submitted an
- In the context of the South-South co-operation developed by South
Africa, India and Brazil both sides stressed their interest in exploring new collaboration
possibilities between Spanish and South African companies.
- Both sides
agreed on the importance of promotion activities like the investment seminar celebrated
this week where the participation of Spanish companies has been very important
and recognized the interest of fostering these kind of events in order to enhance
the co-operation of both business communities.
- Both sides exchanged information
concerning the situation of the Agreement on Double Taxation and expressed their
desire to conclude, as soon as possible, the signing and enter into force of this
Agreement in order to reinforce the framework of the economic bilateral co-operation.
3. Cultural cooperation
The two sides highlighted the
signing of the Cooperation Agreement in the area of Art and Culture between the
two countries on 3 February 2004, that paved the way for this meeting to take
place. The items dealt with in the meeting were as follows:
- A report
was given on the visits made by the South African delegation (Prado Museum, Cervantes
Institute, National Historical Archives).
- Both parties agreed to arrange
a meeting during the visit of the Spanish delegation to the World Heritage Committee
in Durban in July.
- Cooperation will be set up between the Cervantes Institute,
the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture, PANSALAB, UNED and the AECI Sub-Directorate
for Internships and Assistantships, especially on technology transfer issue. In
this respect, mention was made to the ongoing cooperation agreement between UNISA
- The ongoing cooperation over the last decade through the AECI´s
assistantship and scholarship programme was mentioned including the three existing
assistantships in South Africa and the possibility of a fourth assistantship in
a university to be proposed by the South African delegation. Also, the main areas
within the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation´s Master Plan were
- A request was made for help with regard to the assistantship
at Wits University.
- Possible areas of cooperation were examined in the
fields of Museums and Restoration techniques (paintings, manuscripts, sculpture,
- In the area of Archives, the possibility of organising a visit to
Spain of South African professionals was discussed, so that they could become
familiar with Spanish Archives, especially the Simancas, Crown of Aragón
and Indies Archives.
- The South African delegation expressed interest
in having access to any documentation on African history available in Spain.
possible collaboration on heritage issues between young people from the two countries
was discussed. This will not be possible during the events to be held to mark
the Youth Month in June this year but will be borne in mind for next year.
possibilities offered by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture through
its three programmes were also examined: conversation assistants, visiting lectures
and language sections.
- The South African delegation was provided with
a first draft of the Minutes for the forthcoming meeting of the Joint Committee
on Education and Culture. A date for that meeting will be set shortly.
Minister Pahad and Secretary of State Leon in conclusion expressed their satisfaction
with the constructive and positive outcome of the deliberations and agreed that
the next round of Annual Consultations will take place in South Africa in the
first half of 2006.
Prior to the consultations in Madrid, Deputy Minister
Pahad paid a visit to the Canary Islands to participate in an important Seminar
on "Sub-Saharan Africa/Spanish relations" that was held in Santa Cruz
de Tenerife from the 11 to the 12 of May.
Mr Pahad participated, together
with the Spanish Secretary of State, Mr León, in the panel discussion entitled
"Africa as a New Political Priority". Deputy Minister Pahad gave a comprehensive
overview of positive and hopeful developments taking place in Africa and the need
for Spain, the European Union and the international community to expand their
engagement on that continent.
Deputy Minister Pahad also stated that Africa
was encouraged by the constructive and positive approach towards the challenges
facing Africa and the developing world, as enunciated by President Zapatero and
the Spanish government and that Africa stands ready to partner with Spain to ensure
that the 21st century is indeed an African century.
During his visit to
Madrid, Deputy Minister Pahad also officially opened an economic seminar on "Economic
opportunities in South Africa", which was hosted by The Spanish Confederation
of Employers´ Organizations (CEOE) in Madrid and which was attended by 60
Spanish companies. The interest shown in investment opportunities by Spanish Business
was most encouraging and a number of concrete enquiries were received.
by Department of Foreign Affairs
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