SPEECH BY H.E. MR. NICOLAS RONCAGLIOLO, AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF PERU, ON THE OCASSION OF PERU’S NATIONAL DAY – 24TH JULY, 2015
H.E. Ms. Susan Shabangu, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women,
H.E. Mr. Bene L. M-Poko, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo,
H.E. Mr. Carlos Sersale, Dean of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (Ambassador of Argentina),
Your Excellences Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Distinguished representatives and friends,
I want to welcome each and every one of you today and thank you for your presence at this very special celebration of Peru’s National Day.
I must confess that eight months ago, when I arrived to South Africa for the first time, I immediately fell in love with this beautiful country. As time went by I had the chance to discover its wonders and also confirmed what my colleagues and predecessors have told me: that Peru and South Africa have a huge potential to work together and to increase their trade. So the Embassy of Peru in South Africa has put a lot of effort on making this happen in the last few months.
The last six weeks, in particular, have been very busy for Peru in South Africa, and I want to share with you a couple of important activities that have taken place during these days.
On the 23rd of June the Director General for Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf States of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Ambassador Carlos Pareja, made an official visit to South Africa to look for ways to strengthen our bilateral relations. The visit was a big success and together with DIRCO we organized a Senior Official Meeting with the participation of delegates from the Departments of Trade and Industry, Arts and Culture, Defense, amongst others. Peru looks forward now to the signature on the next suitable occasion of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru on the Establishment of Political Consultations.
Also last month Peru had a stand at SAITEX, very important trade window for South Africa and the African continent. I am glad to share with you that this was the first time that my country has had a stand at this big event and a lot of business opportunities of bilateral trade have resulted out of our participation in SAITEX. Peru, as a member of the Pacific Alliance, looks forward to have a joined stand of all the Pacific Alliance member states, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, at next year’s event.
Finally we presented Peru: African Roots, a unique cultural event which took place at the University of Pretoria where we showed the very important influence of the African culture in Peruvian music and dances. The event was also a big success and we are looking forward to take this show around South Africa.
Dear friends, today on this function celebrating our National Day we want all of you to experience Peru through your senses.
Apart from the traditional Peruvian buffet that our regular guests always look forward to, today we have organized stands where all of you will witness how Peruvian food is made. Ceviche, pachamanca, picarones… All freshly made in front of your eyes by well-known Peruvian chefs who have travelled to South Africa to share their skills and knowledge in order to promote the Peruvian cuisine.
We have also organized a Pisco stand, where all of you will see how our national drink, pisco sour, is made. Other pisco cocktails, like chilcanos will also be available. I truly recommend you to try them all.
But Peru is not only its food. Our Embassy is lucky enough to have folkloric Peruvians groups in the Gauteng area, like Tusuy Sumac Llacta and Linaje, who will perform some of our traditional dances for you in a few moments. My special thanks to both of them.
I don’t want to pass over the opportunity to mention the great legacy of the late President Nelson Mandela. Last week I had the opportunity to experience my first Mandela day in this country and I was truly impressed to witness how even today Mandela’s legacy has the power to unite all South Africans to do something good for the people in need.
Finally I want to thank all the people who have worked hard during the past few weeks trying to make this event happen and all of you for joining us to celebrate this special day.
Embassy of Peru in Pretoria