SA, France to advance trade, economic relations

South Africa and France have agreed to enhance trade and economic relations.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies held a courtesy meeting with new French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud in Cape Town where they discussed relations between the two countries.

Strengthening of relations between the South African and French businesses on composites and advanced manufacturing in general will create opportunities for both countries. Advanced manufacturing is viewed as a sector for future economic growth, said Minister Davies.

The meeting emphasises that the two countries can cooperate on the composite sector (ship building) despite South Africa being new to the composite manufacturing. France is the leader in the sector.

Minister Davies says South Africa would like to see investments and technical collaboration in composite applications.

The sectors that the two countries can corporate on will be further discussed at the Joint Economic Commission between South Africa and France to be held in Paris, possibly by the end of March.

The work agenda of economic relations between South Africa and France is coordinated through the South Africa � France Joint Economic Commission (SA � France JEC).

The broad aim of the Joint Economic Commission is to promote and strengthen trade and industrial co-operation between the respective economies. The forum provides an opportunity for consultation on issues of mutual interest, in particular, regional and global issues.

Total trade between the South Africa and France has gradually recovered to pre-crisis levels of 2007-08, growing by an annual average rate of 6.2% from 2010 to 2015.

Currently major South Africa’s exports to France include vehicles, aircrafts, machinery and automobiles, while imports from France include pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronic equipment, turbo jets and vaccines for human use.

Source: South African Government News Agency