Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
21 May 2021
8:06 pm

Ramaphosa to host France’s Macron at Union Buildings

Citizen Reporter

Ramaphosa was in Paris earlier in the week for a summit on the financing of African economies, hosted by Macron.

France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) welcomes South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa upon his arrival for a dinner at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, on May 17, 2021, following an international conference on Sudan which aims to provide financing breathing room for its Prime Minister as he pursues economic reforms. - The French government promised to lend $1.5 billion to Sudan to help it pay off its massive foreign debt, kicking off an international summit aimed at helping the aspiring democracy emerge from decades of authoritarian rule. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

President Cyril Ramaphosa, fresh from a trip to Paris, will host France President Emmanuel Macron next Friday at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

This will be Macron’s first visit to South Africa, after he became the French head of state in May 2017.

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“The visit is aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries, which is substantiated by a number of bilateral agreements in various areas of cooperation.

“The two countries are committed to advocating for world peace and security, strengthening multilateral and regional cooperation and responding to climate change.

“The visit will focus on issues pertaining to the global response to Covid-19 and the economic, health, research and manufacturing responses to the current pandemic and beyond,” the Presidency said in a statement on Friday evening.

Chief on the agenda will be trade between the two countries, with South African being France’s largest trading partner in Africa.

France is South Africa’s largest trading partner with the European Union.

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“Approximately 400 French companies are represented in South Africa. During the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference, French companies pledged R20 billion of investment into South Africa,” the Presidency said.

The last French leader to visit South Africa was François Hollande in 2013, Macron’s predecessor.

South Africa’s exports to France were valued at $564.18 million (R7.87 billion) in 2020, according to the United Nations (UN).

Ramaphosa was in the French capital earlier in the week for a summit on the financing of African economies, hosted by Macron, where he described Israel is an “apartheid type of state” and has lamented the Jewish state’s use of “terror” against the people of Palestine.

Compiled by Neo Thale