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Renewing strong bonds between South Africa and Germany

20 November 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on a state visit to South Africa.

The last official visit to South Africa by a German President was undertaken 20 years ago by then Federal President Roman Herzog.

Photo: President Cyril Ramaphosa and Federal Republic of Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Tuynhuys, Cape Town during a welcome ceremony on the occasion of President Steinmeier’s State Visit to South Africa. (Kopano Tlape GCIS)

This state visit follows a bilateral meeting between President Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the margins of the G20 Africa Summit in Berlin in October.

This meeting re-energised relations between South Africa and Germany and provided the opportunity for the President to highlight the strategic importance of the relationship between the two countries.

Relations between South Africa and Germany are cordial, multifaceted and of a strategic nature.


President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Media Remarks at the conclusion of the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's State Visit to South Africa

20 November 2018
 
Let me begin, Mr President, by expressing my appreciation for the useful discussions we have just concluded on South Africa’s strategic relationship with Germany.
 
I also want to express my appreciation to you and Chancellor Angela Merkel for the gracious hospitality extended to me and my delegation when we attended the G20 Africa Summit in Berlin a few weeks ago.
 
South Africa welcomes this opportunity to renew and deepen our political, trade, investment and people-to-people relations.
 
It is 20 years since South Africa last hosted the President of the Federal Republic of Germany on an official visit.
 
President Steinmeier and I used this historic opportunity to discuss issues of common interest and have briefed each other on developments in our respective countries and regions.
 
We agreed to continue our efforts to further expand trade and investment between South Africa and Germany.
 
Germany is South Africa’s third-largest global trading partner and one of the largest foreign investors, with more than 600 companies operating in South Africa, sustaining approximately 100,000 jobs.
 
This provides a firm foundation to grow our economic relationship in line with our effort to significantly increase investment in the country and, as part of the Jobs Summit agreements, to develop our export capacity.
 
As was evident from our engagement with German business leaders in Berlin last month, South Africa is seen as an important investment destination and there is great interest among German companies to expand their presence here.
 
We used that opportunity – as we did again today – to express our appreciation for the significant role that German companies continue to play in developing skills and building capacity in South Africa.
 
By developing skills through vocational training, German companies are among those that are empowering South Africa’s youth and increasing opportunities for gainful employment.
 
We also used this opportunity to thank the German government for the technical and financial support it has provided to South Africa in areas like health, education, skills development and renewable energy.
 
Our discussions today also covered areas of cooperation on regional and global issues.
 
We applauded Germany’s role in promoting the G20 Compact with Africa, which aims to mobilise private sector investment in participating African countries.
 
This initiative represents an opportunity to drive development through greater and more sustainable investment.
 
Since both our countries have been elected as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for 2019-2020, we have agreed to work together to promote global peace and security but also to promote multilateralism and strengthen the multilateralism system.
 
We are particularly interested in achieving the African Union goal of silencing the guns on the continent by 2020, and welcome Germany’s contribution to the continent’s own efforts to advance peace and stability.
 
Once again, I wish to thank President Steinmeier for visiting South Africa, for renewing the strong bonds that exist between our two nations and for making our discussions today a great success.
 
The SA Presidency

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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November/December 2018

 
 
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