Deputy Minister Alvin Botes met and his Portuguese counterpart signs MoU

Deputy Minister Alvin Botes is meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, Mr Fransisco André, for a Bilateral Consultation in Lisbon, Portugal, on 24 June 2022.

South Africa: Deputy Minister Alvin Botes is meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, Mr Fransisco André, for a Bilateral Consultation in Lisbon, Portugal, on 24 June 2022.

South Africa and Portugal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2002, establishing High-Level Political Consultations. The bilateral mechanism is the key vehicle through which relations between the two countries are conducted.

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From 2002 to 2017, the Bilateral Consultations were only conducted at the Senior Official’s level. During the 5th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in 2017, both countries agreed to elevate the SOM to the Deputy Minister level.

The main areas of cooperation that will come under review at the Bilateral Consultations include Agriculture; Basic Education; Defence; Ocean Economy; Science and Technology; Tourism, and Trade and Investment.

Bilateral trade figures for 2020 and 2021 have been positive, with South African exports for this period surpassing the total exports for 2019. South African exports in 2021 were valued at approximately R2.8 billion, while imports from Portugal recorded approximately R ‪4.6 billion in the same year.

Part of the Deputy Minister’s programme in Portugal will include engagements with Portuguese business communities in Porto and Lisbon.

This is aimed at showcasing South Africa as a favourable investment destination.

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Recent developments in Portugal and the EU

Secretary of State Francisco André gave a briefing on all the recent development made in Portugal, including the legislative elections and the execution of the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan. He also explained all the recent developments in the European Union, including European actions to support Ukraine and energy and food security issues.

He restated Portugal’s commitment to advertising and strengthening relations between the European Union and the African Union, one of the main aims of the 2021 Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU and a long-lasting priority of Portuguese foreign policy.

 

Recent developments in South Africa & Africa

Deputy Minister Botes provided a detailing of developments in South Africa, including the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which seeks to restore the economy to inclusive growth following the destruction induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also emphasised the developments of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which seeks to boost intra-Africa trade, eliminate tariffs and facilitate investments.