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Zuma loyal to French G20 goals

Mar 03 2011 06:30 Reuters

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Paris - South Africa backs France's goals for its presidency of the Group of 20 economies, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday, stressing that failure to address issues like food price swings would hit the poor hardest.

Zuma is on a two-day visit to France at the invitation of President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has sought South African backing for a G20 agenda that includes reforming the global monetary system and reducing instability in commodity markets. "We support France's emphasis on the issues of commodity prices, food security and the future of the International Monetary System," he told a news conference on Wednesday.

"If not addressed properly, these unresolved problems could lead to further instability in the world economy and could do severe damage to the condition of the poor worldwide."

South Africa is the newest member of the Brics, a group of fast-growing emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, China and India, and has already expressed reservations over a proposed financial transaction tax.

But France, which holds the presidency of the G20 until November, has underlined that the two countries have agreed to work on these issues.

France is also one of several countries courting South Africa as it shops the world for a multi-billion dollar nuclear power plant that could help it avoid an electricity crunch.

French nuclear company Areva signed an agreement during Sarkozy's 2008 state visit to South Africa to boost nuclear skills development in the only African country with a nuclear power plant.

South Africa has the continent's biggest economy.
areva  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  jacob zuma  |  france  |  g20
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