South Africa: Deputy Minister Botes hosted his Spanish counterpart for Bilateral Consultations

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, hosted the State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, Mr Diego Martínez Belío, on 23 April 2024. Deputy Minister Botes and State Secretary Martínez Belío co-chaired the 15th Session of the South Africa-Spain Bilateral Consultations. South Africa’s bilateral relations with Spain are managed through the Bilateral Consultations, which meets annually at the Deputy Minister level.

The Official Visit to South Africa enhanced the already strong relations between South Africa and Spain. This visit highlighted the existing cooperation between the two countries and reviewed the progress and implementation of existing agreements.

The meeting deepened engagement and discussions in the areas of mutual interest to both countries, particularly in trade and investment, education, science and innovation, climate change and renewable energy, as well as human rights, migration and women, peace and security.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Spain grew by 9.7% from $3.1 billion in 2022 to $3.4 billion in 2023. In 2023, Spain was South Africa’s 18th trading partner globally and fifth largest trading partner in the EU. During the same period, South Africa was Spain’s second largest export destination and seventh largest source of imports on the African continent. South Africa’s exports to Spain grew by 12.8% from $1.41 billion in 2022, to $1.77 billion in 2023.

Over the past ten 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.

Spain also remains a strategic European tourism market for South Africa. There has been a slight recovery in terms of tourist arrivals from Spain for the periods 2022 and 2023. Tourist arrivals increased by a total of 8 716 between the above-mentioned years, from 23 304 in 2023 to 32 020 in 2024. This is a positive indication of inbound travel slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels as far as this market is concerned.

The recent various high-level engagements between South Africa and Spain symbolise the commitment by both countries to promote a better and more equitable world to benefit the people of both countries.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

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