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President Cyril Ramaphosa's media briefing remarks on the occasion of the State Visit by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal, Union Buildings, Pretoria

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Your Excellency, President de Sousa,
Honourable Ministers,
Members of the Portuguese and South African delegations,
Members of the Portuguese, South African and international media,

Good morning.

South Africa is honoured that President de Sousa is celebrating Portugal Day in our country this year. 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. 

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 and we discussed opportunities for sharing best practice, investment, technology transfer and skills development. 

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. 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. 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.

I thank you.