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History of Relations
to the historical and cultural ties between South Africa and Portugal, relations
between the two countries have traditionally been close and pragmatic. Portuguese
policy towards South Africa is largely determined in EU context.
basis of relations is the approximately 300 000 strong Portuguese Community in
The Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between South
Africa and the EU (Free Trade Agreement) was finally approved by the EU on 24
March 1999 and is expected to be implemented from the beginning of the year 2000.
South Africa agreed to phase out the use of the terminology "port" and
"sherry" on its fortified wines within five years for general export,
within eight years for non-Sacu SADC countries and within 12 years for the domestic
An Air Services Agreement wa signed in South Africa on 23
May 1997 between Transport Minister Mac Maharaj and the Portuguese Deputy Foreign
Minister (Secretary of State) Jose Lamego. In October 1998, the late Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alfred Nzo visited Portugal. The agreement on the Waiver
of Diplomatic and Official Visas was signed during the visit.
In 1998, Portugal
hosted Expo '98 with the "The Ocean - Our Heritage for the future" as
its theme. The event can generally be considered a success and did much to boost
the morale of the country. The site of the Expo, now called the Park of Nations,
remains as an exhibition, show and leisure venue and has become an integral part
of the life of the city of Lisbon. Minister Kader Asmal, then Minister of Water
Affairs attended the African Day celebrations (3 August 1998) at the Expo.
Sampaio attended the inauguration of South Africa's new President in June 1999,
and the President of the Regional Authority of Madeira, Alberto Joao Jardim paid
a semi-official visit to South Africa and Namibia in June/July 1999. President
Mbeki visited Portugal briefly in 2000 to attend the EU Council Meeting at Santa
Maria De Feira. In 2001, Ministers Manuel and Moosa paid brief visits to Portugal
and MEC of Safety & Liaison of Gauteng, Nomvula Mikonyane visited in July
2001. Secretary of State for Development co operation, Luis Amado visited SA for
talks with Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad.
most important South African exports to Portugal are coal, steel products, frozen
fish, fruit juices, fruit, vegetables, wood and granite. Main imports from Portugal
are cork, machinery, textile fibres, cables, electronic equipment and articles
of sound and image.
African Representation in Portugal
H E Ms K S T Matthews
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Time difference with SA:
Winter = 2 hours
Summer = 1 hour
Portuguese Representation in South Africa
H E Mr A M R Freire
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Requirements for South Africans
For more information please contact the
Consular section of the Portuguese Embassy
There are no health requirements for South Africans travelling
For further information go to Travelers' Health.
in the middle of the northern hemisphere, Portugal has a mild climate. However,
the differences between the north/south and coast/inland weather are marked. Inland
areas have a more variable climate than coastal regions. To the South of the Tagus
River, the Mediterranean influences are clear. Long, hot, humid, summers and wet,
short, relatively mild winters. May-October dry and warm, November-April cool
with rain in the north, mild in the south (though often wet and windy January-March).
up-to-date weather information click here.
unit is the Escudo (approx. R1 = 28 Escudos).
The fixed EURO:Escudo is 1
Euro = 200.48 Escudos
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 0872/0851/0837.
On 24 March 1999, after more than three years of difficult negotiations,
the European Council approved the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement
between the European Union and South Africa. Portugal's initial objection to the
"port" and "sherry" deal struck by Commissioner Pinheiro and
Minister Erwin in Davos was dropped after a last minute compromise was reached
in this regard.
On 1 January 1999, Portugal with most of its EU neighbours
took a further step towards intergration with the introduction of the common monetory
to the physical introduction of the currency in January 2002. Portugal had to
meet the stringent requirements of the European Central Bank regarding inflation,
deficits and interest rates.
South Africa's main exports to Portugal are
coal, steel products, frozen fish, fruit juices, fruit, vegetables, wood and granite.
Main imports from Portugal are cork, machinery, textile fibres, cables, electronic
equipment and articles of sound and image.
For current information on trade
statistics between South Africa and Portugal, visit the web site of the Department
of Trade and Industry of South Africa
Groups and Information