Relations between the two countries are good and progressing steadily. South Africa is our leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa (providing France with its eighth largest trade surplus of €1,337 million in 2011). France ranks as South Africa’s 9th largest supplier (with a 3% share of the market).
Over the last five years, the number of French firms operating in South Africa has grown steadily to today’s level of 235 firms providing direct employment for a workforce of 30,000. French investment in South Africa currently stands at some €1.6 billion. Almost two thirds of the firms concerned are concentrated in the industrial sector (mining, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, electronics, building materials, construction, etc.), but investment in services is on the increase (financial services, hotels, urban transport, logistics, water and environmental services).
In 2010, the French and South African Treasury Departments decided to a establish high-level dialogue on global economic issues in the form of a Forum for Economic Dialogue, closely modelled on the Forum for Political Dialogue. Two meetings at senior civil servant level have already been held, one in Paris in March 2011 and the other in Pretoria in November 2012.
Updated on 29.01.13