The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and his Deputy Gratitude Magwanishe, have arrived back in South Africa from Paris where they attended the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) between South Africa and France. The JEC was preceded by the South Africa – France Business Forum which was attended by business delegations from both countries.
Minister Davies message to the French was that time for passive shareholders is over and that Radical Economic Transformation is the way to go.
“We cannot have an economy in which ownership, control and leadership is only confined to a small section of the population. We need to broaden the base of participation in our economy, so for us black economic empowerment is imperative. What we are looking at in the model of empowerment that we have put to companies, is we are particularly focusing on empowering people to become real players in the real economy. Rather than being shareholders in somebody else`s company where they are not playing a leading role or developing their capacities,” said Minister Davies.
Our trade relations with France and the European Union (EU) are governed by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which came to force last year. The EPA replaces the trade chapter of the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). The SADC EPA group (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) is now a common framework for all the members. Minister Davies highlighted that the EPA’s is also providing a way