French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in South Africa on Friday afternoon for an official state visit. He met with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings to discuss the future manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
The two Presidents also discussed the deepening of bilateral cooperation, COVID-19, economic recovery as well as peace and security issues on the continent.
France is a major investor in South Africa and a significant development partner. During the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference, French companies pledged R20 billion of investment into the country.
President Ramaphosa receives French President Macron at the Union Buildings:
‘Strong economic presence’
On Thursday, French Ambassador to South Africa Aurelien Lechevallier said the country can benefit from vaccine manufacturing. He said France has decided to continue to partner with the country to invest and create jobs.
“France has really decided to invest more in South Africa and already has a strong economic presence have in many sectors but will continue with our french companies to invest more and to create jobs here partnering with South African companies,” said Lechevallier.
French Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that it will pledge more investment into the country.
“The objective as you told before is the link to the COVID vaccine but also in the industry and the objective really is to strengthen the relationship, increase the investment in 2019 we pledged R20 billion. I’m sure we will propose much more investment,” says French SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Yves Guenon.
Investment and trade, COVID-19 high on French President Macron’s state visit agenda
French companies say that they have come to South Africa to assist communities with job creation.
“There are many French companies in SA there are more than 400 companies employing over 45 000 people here today in all business sectors,” says Deputy Ambassador Emmanuel Suquent.
Efforts to assist South Africa in dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the country’s roll-out of vaccination will take centre stage during French President Emmanuel Macron’s 24-hour stay in South Africa.
Macron is expected to reiterate his support for boosting vaccine production in Africa.
#FranceInSA: The visit is aimed at strengthening Strategic Partnership between the two countries, which is substantiated by a number of bilateral agreements in various areas of cooperation. #InvestSA #BetterAfricaBetterWorld ? pic.twitter.com/3M9c5BelDE
— Presidency | South Africa ?? (@PresidencyZA) May 28, 2021