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History of Relations
Africa and Italy maintain excellent relations covering the full range of activities,
both on a governmental level as well as in the private sector. President Mbeki
met with President Ciampi during a working visit to Italy in July 2001. He also
met with Prime Minster Berlusconi during the G8 Summit in Genoa, where the New
Africa Initiative (NAI) was presented. Relations were considerably strengthened
after the State Visit by Italian President Ciampi to South Africa, in March 2002.
This was further strengthened during the visit of the Speaker of the South African
Parliament, Dr. Frene Ginwala to Italy, in May 2002.
from the Embassy in Rome, South Africa has a Consulate-General in Italy's commercial
capital, Milan. There are currently four Honorary Consuls in Florence, Bologna,
Bari and Venice respectively, with a further five Honorary Consuls to be appointed
in the near future.
The Italian Government has
given its full support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),
both from a bilateral point of view as well as in its capacity as a member of
African Representation in Italy
H E Ms T E Mtintso
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Representation in South Africa
H E Mr V Schioppa
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Visa Requirements for South Africans
For more information
contact the Consular Section of the Italian Embassy in Pretoria.
apply from time to time and the local Italian Embassy must
be contacted in this regard.
For further information go to Travelers' Health.
is the hottest in the south. Spring and autumn are mild and sunny. Winter in the
south is drier and warmer than in the north. Mountain regions are colder with
heavy snowfalls in winter.
What to wear: Cool clothing in summer (except
in mountains). Warmer clothes in south in winter but very warm clothes elsewhere.
Alpine wear for mountain resorts.
For up-to-date weather information click here.
and baggage theft can occur especially at railway stations and airports.
unit is the Euro
For current exchange rates click here.
and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings
If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section at 012 351 0872/0872/0837.
Economic Relations with South Africa
was instrumental in having the EU economic sanctions lifted following the normalisation
of political activity in South Africa and was the first member of the Union to
sign an economic agreement with South Africa.
is one of South Africa’s leading trading partners. This has been the case for
the past five years and in 2001 Italy was the 6th largest trading partner
of South Africa. South Africa's main exports to Italy are gold and coal, and also
include laminated iron and steel, machines, non-electrical appliances, hides and
skins, fruit, granite and wool, while South African imports from Italy consist
mainly of machine tools, office and other electronic equipment, industrial machinery
and telecommunications equipment.
Italy is the
world's largest producer of gold jewellery and a large consumer of coal, which
are both available in vast quantities in South Africa. Gold and coal are South
Africa's major export commodities to Italy. There is also scope for increased
exports of platinum, titanium and ferro alloys.
recent years, the number of bilateral visits by business and government delegations
has increased significantly and it is expected that these visits will further
strengthen the strong foundation upon which economic relations are based. During
the past twelve months, President Mbeki and Prime Minister Berlusconi have visited
the respective countries, while the Italian Deputy Minister of Productive Affairs
led a business delegation to South Africa in November 2002, as a follow-up to
the business delegation led by President Ciampi, during his State Visit to South
Africa, in March 2002.
to 1995, investment flows from Italy to South Africa were negligible as compared
with other major industrialised countries. The situation, however, changed significantly
in 1997 and 1998 when Italian companies invested R 127 million and R
668 million respectively (a 426% increase over 1997). In 2000 investments
from Italy to South Africa amounted to R 119 million and in 2001 amounted
to Euro 11.8 million (R 90.7 million), ranking Italy amongst the 10th
largest investment partners for SA. (Rate of exchange in 2001: 1 Euro = Rand 7.687).
figures are supplied by the Italian Exchange Office (Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi).
It must be borne in mind that 2001 was the start of the global economic downturn,
including as far as foreign direct investments were concerned, registering a 51%
collapse (the worst result in the last thirty years).
terms of household expenditure by Italians, leisure (tourism) ranks 3rd
after food and housing. Italian tourists are described as attractive clientele
with the following characteristics: enjoy long stay travel (10-15 days), educated,
middle to upper class and seek high quality services. These characteristics normally
translate into higher per capita expenditure.
total of 37 521 Italians travelled to South Africa in 2001. Current statistics
of SA Tourism indicate that there is a marked increase in the number of Italian
tourists choosing South Africa as a destination during 2002 (+ 7% in the first
six months). South Africa is at the moment perceived as a "value for money
" destination and is becoming a "fashionable" destination.
of the main reasons for this are:
the exchange rate and
After September 11, many tourists have preferred South Africa as a tourist destination.
Furthermore, South African Airways has recommenced
direct flights to Italy (Milan) with effect from 1 July 2002. Four direct flights
are currently operating and the popularity thereof would indicate that there is
a strong demand for travel, both business and leisure, to South Africa. In fact
the lack of capacity or limitation thereof may be an impediment to stronger growth
Tourism from Italy may still be undervalued
by South African tour operators and this area could in the next few years potentially
play an increasingly significant role in relations with Italy. Investment by Italian
companies in the tourism infrastructure of South Africa may also bear fruit in
Italy has committed US$
20 million (approximately R190 million) for development assistance to South Africa
for the years 2002-2002, with two health projects in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
A framework agreement for these projects was signed during the State Visit by
president Ciampi to South Africa.
The Italian Government had also donated
R15.5 million for higher education in South Africa during June 2001. Italian
ODA to South Africa is mainly channelled as multilateral ODA under the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) auspices.
Italian funding for development
assistance to South Africa was increased for 2002 and South Africa is one of a
few African countries that receive Italian ODA. Italy has earmarked an indicative
amount of Euro 32 million for the period 2002-2004 iro their Multi-Indicative
Programme (MIP). The main sectors that will benefit are:
Italian resources targeted the poorer regions in South Africa and are followed
closely with South African developmental guidelines and priorities.
current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Italy, visit
the web site of the Department
of Trade and Industry of South Africa
Groups and Information
1. Italian South African Chamber of Commerce
: (011) 728 89 13
Fax : (011) 728 8917
President : Dr Castellari
Italian Club Pretoria (Club Sociale Italiano)
Tel : (012) 335 2982
: (012) 335 2580
Comites (Association of Italians Abroad)
Tel : (011)
Pres Dr M Mariano
3. Italian Foreign Trade Commission
2193 Parkwood Johannesburg
PO Box 1261
Director: Ms Bruna Santarelli
Tel : (011) 8808383
: (011) 8809040 / 8809041
Ms Lidia Martinuzzi
19 (5th floor)
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM
Ms Lidia Martinuzzi
Mascheroni, 19 (5th floor)