Wesgro to double down on economic relationship with France following election result

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Wesgro to double down on economic relationship with France following election result
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Wesgro to double down on economic relationship with France following election result
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08 May 2017


The election of Emmanuel Macron as the new president of France ushers in a new spirit of openness for that country which Wesgro will capitalise on by arranging two trade missions there this year.

France is a gateway to the European Union (EU) and an important connection for the Cape with approximately $4.3 billion of bilateral trade, and $658 million of investment flowing into the province from France over the past decade.

Last month Wesgro's investment promotion team accompanied the Department of Trade and Industry and Minister Rob Davies to the South Africa-France Business Forum held in Paris. The team's priority was to engage agricultural importers and processing investors and they were able to secure new leads with a number of French businesses.

A total of 15 foreign direct investment projects were recorded from France into the Western Cape over the period 2003 - 2015. This equated to an average investment of $47.8 million per project. During the period, a total of 1 766 jobs were created, according to the Financial Times’ FDI Intelligence database.

Facilitated by the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, trade between the Western Cape and France remains relatively well diversified. Food, beverages and tobacco were the province’s top exports in 2015, accounting for 33% of export earnings. Meanwhile metals, metal products, machinery and equipment dominated the Cape's French imports, accounting for 27% of all import costs incurred between the province and France.

Wesgro is also a proud supporter of French South African Tech Labs (FSAT Labs), a tech incubator and accelerator for French and South African tech start-ups, based in Century City, Cape Town, which this month will launch FSAT Labs Season 1, the incubators first class of entrepreneurs about to innovate South Africa's cities, commerce, homes, education and media.

Europe is ranked as the Western Cape’s strongest contributor to tourist arrivals and France was the province's fifth-largest tourist arrival source market in 2015 with 76 736 French citizens visiting the region.

For more tourism, trade and investment information on France, download the Wesgro Research Department’s latest France fact sheet here.

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The Wesgro Trade Unit provides a free and confidential service to help you establish and grow your business in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Our diverse economy, strong skills base and well-connected infrastructure present many opportunities for foreign buyers seeking high-quality goods and services, as well as exporters looking to expand into the African market.

Read our latest sector and country fact sheets and research reports to identify new opportunities to grow your business.

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