President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow host Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón of Spain on an Official Visit at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Prime Minister Sánchez, who is the President of the Government of Spain, will be accompanied by the Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Ms Reyes Maroto, and a business delegation.
According to the Presidency, the visit to South Africa will solidify the already strong relations between South Africa and Spain.
The visit will highlight the existing cooperation between the two countries and will focus on the implementation of agreements intended to benefit the citizens of both countries.
The visit also seeks to create opportunities for various South African sectors to meet with their Spanish counterparts and to deepen cooperation in trade and investment, science and innovation, arts and culture, sports and education.
“The visit, which is Prime Minister Sánchez’s first to South Africa since he assumed office in 2018, is expected to translate the long-standing bilateral relations between the two countries into tangible projects that would stimulate greater interest from Spain in South Africa, especially regarding trade, investment, tourism and cooperation in other identified sectors.
“For South Africa, the engagement between the two leaders is directed towards addressing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality and to boost South Africa’s economic recovery and reconstruction efforts following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Presidency said.
Over the past 10 years, there has been steady investment in South Africa by Spanish companies. The bulk of the investment is in the renewable energy sector.
South African companies have also looked to Spain as an investment destination in the real estate sector.
More than 150 Spanish companies have invested in South Africa creating over 20 000 jobs, largely in the following sectors: Infrastructure Development, Renewable Energy, Financial Services, Tourism, Textiles, IT & Software, Metals and Mining.
Bilateral trade between South Africa and Spain almost quadrupled in the past 10 years. In 2021, Spain was South Africa’s 4th largest export destination in the EU and 5th largest source of imports from the EU. Trade between South Africa and Spain increased over the 2-year period 2020 and 2021.
Exports from South Africa to Spain increased consistently for the 10-year period.
For the last two years, exports increased from R14.9 billion in 2020 to R28.5 billion in 2021.
In 2019, the Spanish government launched its Third Africa Plan, a long-term strategic document that guides Spain’s relations with the African continent. The plan identifies South Africa as one of the three “anchor” countries (together with Nigeria and Ethiopia) for Spain’s foreign policy in Africa.
Following a welcome ceremony at the Union Buildings, the President and Prime Minister will attend and address the SA-Spanish Business Forum, which seeks to foster further and closer collaboration between South African and Spanish companies in a number of key sectors.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.