Media Briefing Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during an Official Visit by Spain, Union Buildings, Tshwane, 27 October 2022
Your Excellency President Pedro Sánchez,
Members of the Media,
It has been an honour to receive His Excellency President Sánchez and his delegation.
We have just concluded a very successful engagement, where we exchanged views on how to consolidate and deepen the bilateral relations between our two countries.
I am pleased to indicate that we held in-depth discussions on deepening trade and investment between South Africa and the Kingdom of Spain.
Later today, President Sánchez and I will engage with business leaders from Spain and South Africa at a business forum.
South Africa is greatly encouraged by Spain’s interest and investment in sectors that are key to the development and growth of our economy.
It is only through collaboration, foreign direct investment and growing trade that we can overcome poverty, inequality and unemployment.
South Africa and Spain are the two largest exporters of citrus fruit globally.
During our discussions, President Sánchez and myself agreed that a solution is needed regarding the new regulations imposed by the bloc on South African citrus fruit imports, and he has assured that there was a commitment to address the matter and find solutions.
Through a process of rural development, land reform and enlarging the role of youth and women in agriculture, more producers will enter the agricultural space and we have seen this with more black citrus farmers entering this space as well.
We would like to see them grow and gain access to key markets like Spain and the rest of the EU.
The Kingdom of Spain has played an important role in the global response to the pandemic, supporting COVAX with funding and vaccine donations, donating more than 20 million vaccine doses to African countries, and providing financial support to the Global Fund, among other efforts.
We also had an opportunity to discuss issues of regional and international importance.
South Africa and Spain are fully committed to preserving and strengthening the rules-based multilateral system as the primary instrument for the resolution of conflicts and other global challenges.
We pledged to work together to achieve a prosperous, secure and peaceful future for those areas on our respective continents facing conflict and instability.
With less than a month to go before the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, we discussed avenues for collaboration as part of the global response to combat climate change.
South Africa and Spain agree that climate change, the loss of biological diversity and other environmental challenges must be addressed within the context of sustainable development.
An important part of our collective response to climate change is increased support for green, sustainable energy policies and technologies.
Several Spanish companies are active in the renewable energy sector in South Africa and we want to see such investments expanded.
This is a call I will be making at the business forum later today.
We welcome Spain’s interest in collaborating on our national effort to achieve a just transition to a low-carbon, climate change resilient economy and society.
President Sánchez and I re-affirmed the bonds of friendship and solidarity that exist between our two countries.
And we look forward to continued engagement that will benefit the peoples of Spain and South Africa.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency