Media Statement on President Lula da Silva’ State Visit to South Africa - July 8-11, 2010
Pretoria: At the invitation of the President of the Republic, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is due to arrive in the Republic of South Africa on a State Visit from 8 to 11 July 2010. President Lula, who is in his second and last term of office, will be accompanied by the Minister of External Relations, Ambassador Celso Amorim; the Minister of Health, Mr Jose Temporão; Minister of Sport, Mr Orlando Silva; the Minister of Tourism, Mr Luiz Barreto Filho; Minister of Human Rights, Presidency, Mr Paulo Vannuchi; Minister of Social Communication, Presidency, Mr Franklin Martins; and the Minister of Federative Affairs of Brazil, Mr Alexandre Padhilla.
South Africa strongly believes that President Lula’s visit to our country will among others, give political impetus to the advancement and consolidation of our bilateral relations; built on the successes of President Zuma’s visit to Brazil last October, especially on the importance of the Joint Commission and a more determined focus on the various aspects of our bilateral programmes. The two Presidents will also discuss and review issues related to bilateral co-operation, following the report of the 4th Meeting of the Joint Commission held at Senior Officials’ level on 5 – 6 May 2010, as well as the elevation of SA-Brazil relations to a strategic level.
Brazil is South Africa’s largest trade partner in South America and total trade between the two countries during the period 2009 was US$ billion 1.692.906.055. At the moment trade is skewed in favour of Brazil. The negative trade figures however should not be viewed in negative terms but should be regarded as an opportunity for both countries to engage and work in addressing all factors which affect bilateral trade. As developing countries with growing consumer markets and buying power, South Africa and Brazil have great potential for growth in the area of trade and economic relations.
South Africa and Brazil enjoy strong bilateral relations as symbolised by high level visits and various Agreements signed across various sectors, prior and after 1994. In 2000, an Agreement establishing the South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission – a structured mechanism to manage and monitor bilateral relations between the two countries – was signed. Areas of cooperation include trade and industry, agriculture, arts and culture, defence, education, health, science and technology, sport and recreation, tourism and water and environmental affairs.
At a bilateral level, the key sectoral areas of cooperation include trade and industry, science and technology, agriculture and rural development, arts and culture, defence, education and skills development, health, sport and recreation, tourism, and water and environmental affairs. South Africa’s objective in identifying the areas of co-operation is informed by the commitment to deliver on national priorities that will facilitate economic growth, creation of decent work, poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods.
The 4th Session of Senior Officials Meeting of the SA-Brazil Joint Commission (JC) took place in Tshwane, South Africa, from 5 – 6 May 2010, nearly six years after the last session of the JC in October 2004. The next session of the Joint Commission at Ministerial level is scheduled to take place in 2011 on a date to be agreed by both parties. The 4th Session of the Joint Commission was guided by the instruction of the Presidents of both countries who met in October 2009 and again in April 2010, when they emphasised the need for stronger and deeper bilateral co-operation and the conclusion of a Strategic Partnership Declaration that will lead to an Agreement and a Plan of Action.
The Joint Commission meeting expressed their belief that the Declaration and Action Plan on the Strategic Partnership Agreement would provide a more structured and sustainable bilateral interface and that the work on these instruments would be concluded by the end of June 2010, ready for signature by the Presidents of South Africa and Brazil.
The relationship between the two countries is underpinned by a common desire to influence the global agenda in the 21st Century in a manner that reflects the aspirations of developing countries. South Africa views Brazil as a strategic partner not only due to its position within South America but also as a regional leader and global player in trade and security issues. Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and shares borders with all South American countries, except Chile and Ecuador.
South Africa and Brazil have contributed positively to the advancement of the Agenda of the South in the context of IBSA and for the creation of a just and equitable system of global governance through advocating for reform of multilateral institutions, including the Bretton Woods institutions. Both countries face challenges of unemployment, poor literacy rates, unequal distribution of income, un-equal access to resources and the rural and urban divide in the quality of life.
The following are the desired outcomes of the Bilateral Engagements
- Signing, by the Presidents, of a Declaration on a South Africa-Brazil Strategic Partnership during the visit.
- Signing, by the relevant Ministers, of the MoU on Cooperation and Consultation in the Area of Intergovernmental Relations.
- Commitment to have regular annual Political Consultations to ensure due bilateral interface in a post-Lula era.
- Strengthening and deepening of economic and commercial relations.
- Consensus on a Programme of Cooperation for the implementation of priority agreements and decisions of previous meetings and bilateral mechanisms
Commitment to strengthen co-operation on issues related to the African Agenda, South-South cooperation and on multilateral issues.
For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
6 July 2010