S.Africa and France to sign 1bln euro pact

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France and South Africa will sign a one billion euro pact ($1.36 billion) next month when President Jacob Zuma makes a two-day state visit, Pretoria's foreign minister said Thursday.

"A major objective of the visit is to strengthen trade and investment ties with France and to addresss the challenges of the trade deficit that exists," of 10 billon rands ($1.4 billion, 1 billion euros) in France's favour in 2009, Maite Nkoana Mashabane told journalists.

"Agreements to be signed during the visit include the New Partnership Framework Document for 2011 to 2013 according to which the French Development Agency will make available approximately one billion euros over three years."

Zuma will travel with five ministers and discussions on nuclear energy will also form part of the visit, she said.

© 2011 AFP

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