France is South Africa’s 9th investor
The number of French companies operating in South Africa has steadily increased over recent years. More than 300 French companies were registered on September 2014, employing around 30 000 employees. According to the South African Reserve Bank, France is ranked the 9th foreign investor in South Africa.
In 2013, almost two-thirds of French investment focused on industrial fields: mines (Imerys, Total Coal, Areva), pharmaceutical products (Sanofi-Aventis, Ceva, Virbac, Merial), petrol and chemistry (Air Liquide, Total), electric equipment (Schneider Electric, Tenesol, Solaire Direct), electronics (Thales, Oberthur), building materials (Saint Gobain, Lafarge, Colas, Chryso, Kerneos), civil engineering (Bouygues, Dura Solétanche-Bachy, Vinci), car manufecturers and automobile equipment suppliers (Renault, Faurecia, Valeo, Inergy, Plastic Omnium), cosmetics (L’Oréal, Mane), food (Danone, Union Invivo, Royal Canin), aircraft (Turbomeca, Eurocopter, ATE), consumer goods (Bic, Essilor, Zodiac).
The Service sector has seen rapid growth: financial services (Bnp-Paribas, Coface, Europ Assistance, Natixis), hotels (Accor, Sodexo), engineering (Ingerop, Areva, Air Liquide Engineering, Coteba, Technip), certification (Bureau Veritas, NDT Expert), urban transport (RATP), logistics (Bolloré, AGS, Geopost), water and environment (Suez et Veolia), building and maintenance of power stations (Alstom), petrol provider (Total), media/advertising/marketing (Lagardère, Publicis, Ipsos, JC Decaux).
It’s important to mention than some investments are made into vineyards in the Cape area, predominantly by individuals.
South African FDI in France has shown an upward trend. Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd., Africa’s largest furniture maker, recently bought PPR SA’s Conforama chain for 1.207 billion euros ($1.66 billion) in cash to strengthen its position in Europe.