CAPE TOWN: South Africa has agreed to advance trade and economic relations with France in the shipbuilding industry.
This comes after Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies had a courtesy meeting with the new French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud, in Cape Town.
The meeting emphasises that the two countries can cooperate on the composite sector that is ship building, despite South Africa being new to the composite manufacturing. France is the leader in the sector.
In a statement, Davies said South Africa would like to see investments and technical collaboration in composite applications, adding that this would 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,” Davies said.
The sectors that the two countries can corporate on would be further discussed at the Joint Economic Commission between South Africa and France to be held in France, Paris possibly by the end of March.
Total trade between South Africa and France has gradually recovered to pre-crisis levels of 2007/8, growing by an annual average rate of 6.2% from 2010 to 2015.
Major South African 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.