Zuma wraps up his visit to Brazil

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma arrived back in South Africa on Saturday after concluding his two-day state visit to Brazil, where he attended a Business Forum and met with Brazilian President Lula Da Silva.

During his visit, Zuma also met with Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra.

According to the Presidency, Zuma addressed a Business Forum organised to facilitate interaction between South African and Brazilian business. The forum was attended by a 50-strong delegation of business representatives from South Africa.

Zuma was accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane, Sport and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Zuma used the occasion of the Business Forum to reiterate the need to concretise business ventures between the two countries.

"The meeting also received a report back by Business Unity South Africa on progress made since the establishment of the Joint Binational Commission," the Presidency said.

On Friday, the second day of the visit, President Zuma met with President Lula Da Silva at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia.

The two Presidents agreed that South Africa would host the 5th meeting of the Joint Commission set up by the two countries, which was long overdue.

The Presidents witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and the South African Department of Trade and Industry for the promotion of trade and investment.

The MoU will see the development of an implementation plan that will focus on how trade and investment initiatives will be structured to benefit both countries.

An agreement and a MoU on sports cooperation for 2009-2011 were also signed.

After the signing of the agreements, Zuma proceeded with a visit to the Brazilian Senate and met with Senate President Jose Sarney.

He also visited the Brazilian Supreme Court and met with Chief Justice Glimar Ferreira Mendes.

President Zuma highlighted the need to continue to build democratic institutions in both countries.

He concluded his programme by addressing a meeting of African Ambassadors in Brazil.

In his address to the diplomats, Zuma focused on the importance of streamlining interventions by all African countries on various areas, like diplomatic engagement, economic development, and Africa's efforts to impact on the agenda of international institutions.

He extended an invitation to President Lula Da Silva to undertake a state visit to South Africa immediately before or after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.