Mining and Business Magazine Good morning, Mr Guenon. Could you introduce yourself?
Yves GUENON: I have finished my career as a manager in a large French group in South Africa over the past ten years. Today, I decided to stay in this country to help with the economic transition.
MB: What exactly is the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
YG: We are about 200 members. That is to say groups, companies and individuals, with 65% of South African companies and 35% of French companies. Our objective is to develop trade between South Africa and France, but also between South Africa and the region because many French firms have their headquarters in Johannesburg or Cape Town for the whole of Southern Africa.
MB: Do you already work with other Chambers of Commerce? Which ones? Are you interested in collaborating with local CCIs?
YG: Yes, we are already working a little with some of them. For example, Kenya’s knowing that we are trying to start relations between Mozambique and Ghana. However, it is clear that our objective is to develop these relationships between CCIs in Southern Africa. This is one of the strong points mentioned at the meeting of the Presidents and Directors of the African Chambers in Paris last June.
MB: What are the synergies between these different Chambers of Commerce?
YG: Firstly: Let the managers talk to each other. That, in my opinion, is the first point. We still have a chance in this region: it’s that Business France is involved in the entire sub-Saharan region. Also, as the relations between “Business-France” and the ICC in South Africa are excellent, it is not difficult to complete this good relationship with the other Chambers of Commerce. The idea is to identify the needs and opportunities in the different countries to focus where they are urgent and essential.
MB: What are the sectors in which the South African Chamber of Commerce can operate in the DRC?
YG: As I told you, we are particularly active in the energy, logistics, agriculture and agri-food sectors in particular, and infrastructure sectors. Moreover, as far as South African companies are concerned, there is the entire mining sector with very advanced and efficient players.