First come IMF spring meetings, then the investors
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