Calls for more action to ease visa regulations between SA, France

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The French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on government for more action to ease visa regulations to make trade between South Africa and France seamless. The chamber hosted a business engagement ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup set to be hosted in France.

South Africa and France are looking to strengthen ties and use the Rugby World Cup to foster more investments between the two nations.

The countdown for 2023 Rugby World Cup has started and with three months to go, businesses are positioning themselves to take advantage of the event as they explain why local businesses should forge partnerships with the host country France.

There are sectors of interest identified where companies can take advantage of trade relations between the two nations.

“We see a lot of movement in the tech sector, fintech and actech, a lot of opportunities for South African companies wanting to commercialise. We spoke about taxes so France has brought its corporate tax to to 25% which is a European average, they were 33% they’ve dropped it to 25%. We’ve spoken R&D and France also offers a generous tax research credit,” says Nicole Blasyk, the Project Manager France Trade Commission.

Visa regulations

Domestic concerns have been raised around visa regulations that are said to be stringent hampering easy trade between the two nations.

“We have a strong French presence in South Africa around 500 French companies and around 65 000 people employed by this companies so there is a strong  partnership between France and South Africa in terms of business. So everything that can facilitate easy trade for companies is a good thing and visa is very important for us. We need a more freed easy going way to get some visas, we need that,” Marc Cagnard the Managing Director at Business France says.

Businesses want the load shedding crisis addressed and say investors are concerned with the blackouts and their impact on the economy.

The tourism space is also expected to get the best out of the World Cup with the chamber revealing that flights will be increased as 600 000 visitors globally are expected to form part of the event with thousands of South Africans expected to attend between 8th September and 28th October.

Fifty one days of economic trade relations, with 15 000 South Africans are expected to form part of the rugby World Cup.

Flights will be ramped up with Calls by France for visa regulations to be eased and for South Africa to learn from France’s decarbonisation on efforts to address the energy issues citing it as a hinderance to foreign direct investments and the creation of jobs.

VIDEO: Bilateral engagement ahead of 2023 Rugby World Cup: