French-Japanese Partnerships in Southern Africa – Johannesburg
On Tuesday 13 December 2016, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of France in South Africa, Ms. Charlotte Montel, attended an event in Johannesburg entitled French-Japanese Partnerships in Southern Africa with Japan’s Ambassador to South Africa HE Shigeyuki Hiroki.
This is the second bilateral encounter between France and Japan’s representatives in South Africa (the first was on 4 February 2016) and the event was hosted by the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSACCI), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Japan (CCIJ), Business France, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the French and Japanese embassies in South Africa.
In October 2015, France’s Prime Minister visited Tokyo where a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between JETRO and Business France to cooperate in the development of Africa. The MOU, which is part of a broader political framework, focused on:
- Making Japanese and French companies cooperate more in fields of interests for both countries
- Helping Japanese and French innovative start-up companies and SMEs to grow
- Fostering the organization of networking events (such as the two that have taken place in SA in 2016)
During the event, both French and Japanese companies shared examples of their investment in South Africa contributing to economic and social development. Some of these industries include automotive, transport and energy. Furthermore, B-to-B meetings were held between French and Japanese companies to focus on overcoming challenges for foreign investors in South Africa.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Montel said:
“I hope these strengthened links will lead to bigger support for businesses contributing to development in Africa and Southern Africa. I suggest that we build on this event to further strengthen in 2017 the economic relation between France and Japan, at business and institutional level, notably to promote together what French and Japanese firms are doing in the field of localization and capacity building, and to exchange information on business opportunities where French and Japanese firms could be complementary”.
- 4500 French companies exporting to South Africa a total amount of 1,8 billion € of goods (2 billion US$).
- 2,2 % share of the South African imports and South Africa is the first market for French exports in sub Saharan Africa
- 370 French companies implemented in South Africa employing around 40 000 South African employees.