Entrepreneur is a French word
Elisabeth Barbier, Ambassador of France to South Africa,
A meeting of French and South African Business is a direct result of the economic diplomacy focus of President Francois Hollande of France during his visit to South Africa.
35 French companies made up a delegation of predominantly SME’s, met with over 100 businesses in South Africa.
The description of SME varies from country to country explained Mr Christophe Lecourtier, General Manager of UBIFRANCE, expressing a greater need to support small business enterprise. In South Africa a call has been made for the establishment of a Ministry dedicated to the SME sector. While in France, PPI is a bank devoted to the financial needs of the SME.
UBIFrance is the French Agency for international business. They are responsible for seeking out new markets for French business. They hosted this meeting together with the Embassy of France in South Africa, the Department of Foreign Trade, Bpifrance and the French-South African Business Chamber.
France is the 9th largest investor in South Africa and ranks 16th on the list of South African exports. There are around 200 French businesses operating in South Africa.
Business advisor Henri de Villeneuve, who has an office in South Africa, pointed out several considerations including that of political and social risk, the interpretation of BEE, a program meant to create greater economic balance in South Africa, BRICS the grouping of emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa, and the volatility of the South African rand.
Speaking at the opening H.E Elisabeth Barbier, Ambassador of France to South Africa, highlighted the various events that are intensifying the people to people relations between the two countries. She also pointed out that this delegation, so soon after President’s Hollande’s visit, indicated the urgency and the importance of growing the trade, investment and tourism between the countries.