Zuma, Sarkozy to discuss global finance reforms

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pretoria - International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says calls for reforms in global finance governance will form part of the discussions between President Jacob Zuma and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy as the two meet for bilateral talks this week.

Zuma is on a state visit to France at the invitation of Sarkozy, accompanied by several Cabinet ministers, including Nkoana-Mashabane. 

"It's something that South Africa believes needs to be discussed. We (were) in this deep financial crisis not because of our own choice, so [no] proposals should be off the table... including how we can handle the challenges that come with climate change," Nkoana-Mashabane said during an interview.

She also said South Africa will be looking forward to "cooperating with France" as Durban will host the biggest climate conference (COP 17) later this year. 

The visit to France follows an invitation sent to Zuma by Sarkozy, with Nkoana-Mashabane describing the meeting as "strategic." France considers South Africa as its top trading partner on the African continent, with more than 120 French companies operating in South Africa. 

"We see eye to eye on the... positive development of the African agenda... We've got very good economic ties with France and it is our seventh most important trading partner and France also talks the same language with us on reforms of institutions of global governance," said the minister. 

France has also been spearheading the idea of expanding the alliance of the richest nations, the G8, to accommodate some of the top emerging economies, including South Africa, India and Brazil. - BuaNews