The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has arrived in Paris, France where he is leading a South African business delegation to the Viva Technology Conference and Exhibition (VivaTech) that will take place in Paris, France from 24 to 26 May 2018. French President, Emmanuel Macron Il is scheduled to open the Viva Technology Conference and Exhibition.

The VivaTech conference and exhibition is dedicated to innovation and digital transformation focused on start-ups. The event will have a strong focus on Africa, with more than 200 start-ups and French groups committed to digitalization in Africa from across the globe. For the first time, up to 50 African start-ups from four key sectors will gather in a dedicated zone with local incubators and accelerators. Selected start-ups will pitch their solutions.

the dti, through Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) has funded a group of start-ups which will exhibit at the VivaTech showcasing their products and services within the ICT space. Furthermore, a group of nine students from the “We Think Code” will take part in a hackathon, a competition focused on hacking programmes. In addition to the dti-funded companies there are 32 privately-funded companies which will also participate in the event as part of the SA delegation.

During the visit Minister Davies will have bilateral meetings amongst others with the Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Ms Delphine Geny-Stephann and Mr Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State to the Minister of Europe. Minister Davies will also meet the French Business Confederation; MEDEF International to promote investments.  MEDEF International is the largest organisation of the French private sector at an international level. Invest SA has a cooperation agreement with Business France that is intended to attract and facilitate French investments into South Africa.

France is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the European Union.  Between January 2003 and January 2018 a total of 81 Foreign Direct Investment projects were recorded. These projects represent a total capital investment of R8.67 billion which is an average investment of R962.56 million per project.

Meanwhile, Minister Davies had a bilateral meeting with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Secretary General: Mr Angel Gurria in Paris.  The two discussed the current multilateral trading system, global economy and trade and investment.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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