The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe will leave for Paris, France this evening to attend the Joint Economic Commission between South Africa and France. The Ministerial Joint Economic Commission will be preceded by the technical meeting that will be attended by officials from South Africa and France and also South Africa-France Business Forum.
The technical meeting will amongst others, discuss the following:
Market access issues and sanitary and phytosanitary issues
Business environment and policy development in South Africa
The SA-France Business Forum will be hosted by Business France. Last year on the margins of President Jacob Zuma's State Visit to France, Invest South Africa and Business France signed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) on Economic and Investment Cooperation. Business France is the trade and investment agency of France and InvestSA is the newly-established investment division of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) championing the One-Stop Shop approach of South Africa.
The main objectives of the Declaration of Intent are:
To strengthen and to assist cooperation aimed at enhancement of investment activities between the two countries
Investment Facilitation and enabling conditions for sustainable growth of economic cooperation; and
To develop direct contacts between business circles in the Republic of South Africa and the French Republic.
In a meeting between Minister Rob Davies and the French Ambassador to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud in February this year, the two emphasised sectors that the two countries can cooperate on such as composite sector (ship-building). South Africa is new in composite manufacturing while France is the leader in the sector. Minister Davies says South Africa would like to see investments and technical collaboration in composite applications.
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. There are several investment opportunities for French businesses in the South African composite sector and advanced manufacturing, states Davies.
The sectors that the two countries can corporate on will be further discussed at the Joint Economic Commission between South Africa and France. The work agenda of economic relations between South Africa and France is coordinated through the Commission.
Source: Department of Trade and Industry