Visit of Michel Sapin, Minister of Economy and Finance, to South Africa (2 – 3 February 2017) [fr]
Michel Sapin, French Minister of Economy and Finance, visited Pretoria and Johannesburg on February 2 and 3 2017. The visit aimed at strengthening and reaffirming economic relations and partnerships between South Africa and France..
Minister Sapin, with the French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud, met with several senior officials amongst which his South African counterpart, Minister Pravin Gordhan, and the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu.
He also engaged both with the South African and French business communities during bilateral meetings as well as during a reception hosted by the Embassy of France in Pretoria.
As part of his programme, he conducted site visits to Schneider Electric, L’Oréal’s Research and Development Centre and Airbus Helicopters.
During his meetings, Minister Sapin emphasised the role France plays in supporting South Africa’s economic transformation through capacity building and investment. Local job creation, technology transfer, training and skills development programmes form the basis of French-South African economic cooperation.
In the context of “Brexit”, this visit provided the ideal opportunity to showcase the numerous trade and investment opportunities France, as a founding member of the European Union, has to offer.
Cooperation between the two countries goes well beyond investment relationship. For instance, Minister Sapin underlined South Africa’s key role in supporting global issues such as the fight against tax fraud and evasion.
The visit reaffirmed France as an important partner for South Africa in a wide range of areas, from scientific cooperation to transport and renewable energy investments and from the EU Economic Partnership Agreement to scholarship programmes.