Zuma gives France economic advice after Brexit

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma on Monday urged France to help find solutions that will not cause further difficulties on the global economy.

This follows the June 24 referendum result where Britons voted for the UK to leave the European Union. The UK must still formally revoke its membership, a move that could take months to years.

“The so-called Brexit holds implications way beyond the borders of the UK and the member states of the EU,” Zuma said.

“The withdrawal outcome has impacted seriously on world economies and markets, and both our countries have been affected.  

“We will impress upon France to play a role during this period of finding solutions that will not cause further difficulties on the global economy,” he said.

French President Francois Hollande said the UK vote to leave the EU won’t affect France’s relations with South Africa, Bloomberg reported.

At a press conference with Zuma, Hollande called for speedy talks with the UK to limit the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU. “Nothing is worse than uncertainty” for the economy, Hollande said.

Zuma is seeking to expand relations between the countries, especially in the areas of energy, maritime affairs, agriculture, science and technology, education, arts and culture, defence and development cooperation.

Zuma will meet with businesses in France in a bid to increase exports to the country. France invested over R24bn in 2015, creating over 4 000 jobs. In 2015, the overall volume of trade totalled R33bn.

“We are keen to see increased industrialisation, localisation, job creation and skills development linked to the large infrastructure and energy contracts acquired by French companies,” said Zuma.

France’s state-owned energy company EDF is one of the bidders in South Africa’s 9.6 GW nuclear energy build programme. French nuclear firm Areva has strong links with Koeberg nuclear power station and is replacing its steam generators in a deal that is currently at the Constitutional Court after a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment in 2015 ruled that Eskom’s procurement process and contract award was unlawful and in breach of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

South Africa recently signed the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and six countries of the Southern African Development Community.

“As signatories to the Economic Partnership Agreement, France and South Africa must take advantage of the vast opportunities that exist within bilateral trade and investment landscape,” said Zuma.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot