First come IMF spring meet­ings, then the in­vestors

CityPress - - Business - LESETJA MALOPE lesetja.malope@city­press.co.za

Finance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba’s much-vaunted US in­vestor road­show comes on the back of a min­is­te­rial trip to at­tend the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Spring Meet­ings, tak­ing place this week­end in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

Ac­cord­ing to May­ihlome Tsh­wete, Gi­gaba’s spokesper­son, the pri­mary rea­son for the min­is­ter’s trip to the US was to at­tend this IMF meet­ing.

“The meet­ing with the in­vestors is a sideshow. The main rea­son for his go­ing is the IMF meet­ing,” he said.

The an­nual three-day spring gath­er­ings bring to­gether cap­tains of in­dus­try, aca­demics, central bankers and finance min­is­ters to dis­cuss is­sues of global con­cern such as poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Talk­ing to the me­dia shortly be­fore he em­barked on the trip, Gi­gaba said he had met with lo­cal in­vestors who held 60% of gov­ern­ment’s bonds, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, be­fore jet­ting off on Wed­nes­day evening.

He said gov­ern­ment would ad­here to the bud­get frame­work and fis­cal dis­ci­pline set by his pre­de­ces­sor and en­sure for­eign in­vestors of this, as part of his ef­forts to quell fears trig­gered by South Africa’s re­cent down­grades.

“There will be a fo­cus on our part to im­ple­ment in­clu­sive growth. This in­cludes mi­cro eco­nomic plans and the nine-point plan,” he said.

Gi­gaba said the econ­omy was still ex­pected to grow this year, but that did not mean in­vestors should not be re­as­sured.

He added that the coun­try would in­form the IMF that it wanted to move away from be­ing re­liant on the ser­vices sec­tor and be more in­clu­sive.

“Our econ­omy re­mains vibrant and is the most ad­vanced econ­omy on the con­ti­nent. We are di­ver­si­fy­ing, although [the process is] slow. We are go­ing to por­tray the pos­i­tives of a grow­ing econ­omy.”

RES­O­LUTE Finance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba

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