The French Trade Commission Confirms the Country’s Interest in the South African Mining Industry
In terms of mining investment desirability, South Africa has lost significant appeal for companies in France in the course of the past four years. Recent dogmatic changes have, however, opened a new window of opportunity according to Stëfane Leny, Business France trade development adviser. Stefane believes that the market still demands technically advanced and innovative products such as the ones that are being manufactured by companies in France. He adds that they have identified market opportunities in fields such as explosives, ventilation equipment, drilling equipment, electrical equipment, earthworks equipment, and electricity generation among others. He continued to say that in these areas, French firms have knowledge and expertise that is superior.
A platform was created by the Pavilion in France provides companies an opportunity to showcase the rich heritage in mining and expertise in the mining industry in Africa possessed by France. Stefane says that the returns from the French Pavilion have been very encouraging with exhibitors being able to consistently develop new business over the years as well as find local partners at Electra Mining Africa. At this year’s French Pavilion, nearly 12 firms from France will take part in the event that is consistent with the number of companies that participated in 2016.
Diverse expertise is expected to be showcased in the French Pavilion with experts in a range of fields such as personal protective equipment, blasting solutions, real-time simulation devices, electrical components, drone technology, and lightning protection to name a few. The quality of visitors to the French Pavilion is usually exceptional and it gives the exhibitors a unique opportunity to generate leads and hope to sign more contracts in the years to follow. With its consistency in investing in the South African mining industry, the French government has shown commitment and growing interest in the African mining industry that is extremely rich in resources.
By 2013, there were about 245 French companies and subsidiaries in South Africa that provided employment to more than 300,000 people. Since then, the French Pavilion has for five consecutive years returned to South Africa, which goes to show the value the firms put on the industry. France is the third-largest European partner to South Africa after the UK and Germany. The South African economy is particularly attractive to the French government of late since it is strong, stable and growing at a high rate that allows seamless partnership between French and South African companies.
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