President Cyril Ramaphosa says his meeting with his Portugal counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, is an opportunity to deepen the two countries’ collaboration on energy, which is a crucial field.
“Portugal is one of the countries in Europe that has been pioneering the deployment of renewable energy.
“As we confront our own energy challenges, we are keen to discuss best practice, technology transfer and investment potential in this sector,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President said this while delivering opening remarks during official talks with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Tuesday.
President Ramaphosa is hosting his Portugal counterpart on a State visit at the Union Buildings.
President Ramaphosa told his counterpart that he has come to appreciate how interconnected the global community is, and how countries need to work together to solve common challenges like climate change, pandemics and armed conflict.
“As the countries of the world work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must step up our collaboration to address these challenges,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President said African countries recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, now the African Union.
He said this anniversary comes at a time when the cause of continental economic integration is finding expression in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This free trade area, President Ramaphosa said, will create a single continental market with a population of about 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of approximately $3.4 trillion.
He said the AfCFTA will not only boost intra-African trade and investment, but it will also create opportunities for greater trade and investment between Africa and other parts of the world.
“It is therefore encouraging at this time to receive visits from countries such as Portugal that are committed to the cause of Africa’s development and prosperity,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said in their discussions today, the two Presidents will also take note of multilateral matters of mutual importance.
He said the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has had a global impact.
“As South Africa, we believe that negotiation and dialogue can indeed play an important role in resolving conflict. We know this from our own experience of our transition to democracy.
“We continue to advocate for rules-based multilateralism that should be at the centre of global efforts to address common challenges.
“It has always been our view that peace and security create more space and favourable conditions for development and advancing mutual prosperity,” the President said.
The relationship between Portugal and Southern Africa stretches back several centuries and has evolved into a partnership of cooperation and solidarity.
The two countries’ bilateral relationship is of strategic importance to South Africa, as they collaborate in several sectors, such as education, science and technology, trade, investment and defence. - SAnews.gov.za