Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa met his South African counterpart President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Tuesday during his official visit to the southern African nation.

The two leaders met at the Union Buildings, which is a government office located in Pretoria. Both presidents signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement to ensure that there is a better legal framework between them.

During the media briefing, President Ramaphosa called this agreement a "great signal" for both countries and said they are looking forward to seeing "higher levels of trade and investment" between South Africa and Portugal.

"The Agreement on Defence Cooperation, which was signed following the official talks, is expected to provide a legal framework for closer cooperation in this area of the relationship," the South African President said, SANews reported.

He explained that there are many things that both countries can learn from each other in border defense and maritime.

"We are also two countries that happen to get involved in peacekeeping missions. Being able to cooperate on the defense level through an agreement also enhances that," he added. "In as much as there is a conflict that is raging in another part of the world, it does not mean that we should be deterred from entering into agreements that will bring us closer and cooperate much more effectively."

Ramaphosa went on to explain the importance of such visits to South Africa as well as the entire African continent.

"The operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area will bring great benefits not only to African countries but also to other countries that have trade and investment ties with the continent," he said. "I wish President Rebelo de Sousa and his delegation all the best for the remainder of their visit to South Africa and a safe journey home."

The official Twitter handle of South Africa shared photos and a video, where President Ramaphosa can be seen hosting his counterpart.

"South Africa and Portugal have well-established trade relations which are abound with potential for further growth and diversification in 2023 and beyond," the official handle wrote alongside the photos.

In a separate tweet, a video was shared where both presidents can be seen having a conversation as they walked around the building.

"The two Heads of State will lead their respective delegations in official talks focusing on the enhancement of cooperation in various areas, including agriculture; basic education; defense; ocean economy; science and technology; tourism; and trade and investment," the official handle captioned the video.

Portugal and South Africa have expanded their economic relations over the past couple of years. While Portugal exports machinery, vehicles, textiles, and chemicals, South Africa exports minerals and agricultural products to Portugal.

As per multiple reports, Portugal exported $300.68 million worth of trade to South Africa last year.

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