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Cementing SA’s ties

South Africa’s relations with France and India received a boost recently,

when President Jacob Zuma met his counterparts from these countries to discuss areas of cooperation.

 On a recent state visit to France, President Zuma held talks with French President François Hollande,

during which the two leaders reaffirmed the need to enhance the strategic partnership encompassing political, economic, social and defence matters between the two countries.

Agreements were signed during the visit to deepen cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, agriculture, higher education and training, as well as arts and culture.

Trade relations The two sides also signed the renewed Partnership Framework Document on development cooperation for

the period 2016-2019, which makes provision for collaboration in the promotion of national priorities.

Underscoring the importance of boosting trade relations and economic cooperation, President Zuma also met French CEOs and addressed the South Africa-France Business Forum.

In the meeting, President Zuma impressed upon

the private sector to explore investment opportunities in South Africa.

 Two-way trade currently stands at R33 billion in favour of France. There are about 350 French companies doing business in the country, while only 30 South African businesses are operating in France.

Commemoration of the Battle of Delville Wood The President also officiated at the centenary commemoration of the Battle of Delville Wood in Somme, France, a ceremony that ended 100 years of the marginalisation of black soldiers who died in the First World War.

Government has built a memorial in France that recognises all soldiers regardless of race.

While in France, President Zuma also received the digitised Rivonia Trial dictabelts.                                  

The deteriorating audio recordings of the 1963-1964 court case were restored by France’s National Audiovisual Institute.

President Zuma thanked France for safeguarding “an invaluable part of South Africa’s history for generations to come”.

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