Pretoria – South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday hosted his Portuguese counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa, who is on a state visit.
“South Africa is honoured that President de Sousa is celebrating Portugal Day in our country this year,” President Rapaphosa said during a press briefing.
“It is President de Sousa’s first visit to South Africa and we hope it will leave a lasting impression.
“South Africa’s Portuguese community is an integral part of the diverse cultures that enrich our national life and has played an important role in the development of our economy.
“We are enriched by the community’s contribution to the arts, culture, cuisine, and music scene in South Africa.
“South Africa and Portugal have a strong bilateral relationship that we hope will be strengthened by this visit.”
President Ramaphosa added: “Our discussions today focused on opportunities of mutual benefit in defence, science and innovation, education and energy”.
Portugal is one of the leaders in Europe in the deployment of renewable energy.
“We discussed opportunities for sharing best practice, investment, technology transfer, and skills development,” said President Ramaphosa.
“We are keen to see higher levels of trade and investment between Portugal and South Africa across a range of sectors.”
The Agreement on Defence Cooperation that was signed following the official talks is expected to provide a legal framework for closer cooperation in this area of the relationship.
“We also had an opportunity to discuss issues of regional and international importance, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” said President Ramaphosa.
“We also discussed effective responses to other issues that confront humanity today, such as climate change.
“We consider visits such as this one to be important not only for South Africa, but also for the African continent.”
President Ramaphosa said the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area will bring great benefits not only to African countries but also to other countries that have trade and investment ties with the continent.
“In conclusion, I wish President Rebelo de Sousa and his delegation all the best for the remainder of their visit to South Africa and a safe journey home.”