SA calls in big shots to woo investors
Government has launched an investment drive to net US$100 billion in investments
Government has launched an ambitious new investment drive that aims to bring US$ 100 billion in new investments into the country over the next five years.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the initiative, which will culminate in an Investment Conference, on 16 April 2018.
“The Investment Conference, which will involve domestic and international investors in equal measure, is not intended merely as a forum to discuss the investment climate,” said the President.
“Rather, we expect the Conference to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market. We are determined that the conference produces results that can be quantified and quickly realised,” he said.
The Investment Conference is expected to take place in August or September 2018.
“We are aiming, through the Investment Conference, to generate at least US$ 100 billion in new investments over the next five years. Given the current rates of investment, this is an ambitious but realisable target that will provide a significant boost to our economy,” added the President.
In preparation for the Investment Conference, President Ramaphosa appointed four special envoys on investment, who are expected to spend the coming months engaging both domestic and foreign experts on the opportunities that exist in this country.
“These are people with valuable experience in the world of business and finance and extensive networks across major markets,” noted the President.
They are former Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel, former Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas, Executive Chairperson of Afropulse Group Phumzile Langeni, and Chairman of Liberty Group and former CEO of Standard Bank Jacko Maree.
The President explained that the special envoys will travel to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors.
A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo.
“This is part of a broader push by government to advance economic integration in the Southern African region and across the continent,” he said.
The President also announced Trudi Makhaya as his economic adviser.
He added part of Makhaya’s im-
mediate responsibilities would be the coordination of the work of the special envoys and a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the Investment Conference.
“The engagements that we expect to take place will also be part of a process towards the establishment of a Presidential Council on Investment,” he explained.
The President added that government is making progress in stabilising strategic state-owned enterprises, improving the functioning of key institutions like the South African Revenue Service, finalising a new Mining Charter through consultation with all stakeholders, processing legislation for the implementation of the national minimum wage and the promotion of labour stability, and launching the Youth Employment Service to increase the employability of firsttime job seekers.
“In addition, work is underway to rationalise and streamline investment regulations and reduce the cost of establishing and running businesses. Through the more effective use of industrial incentives, special economic zones and local procurement requirements, we aim to increase investment in manufacturing and related sectors,” he said.
Government is also creating more opportunities for new market entrants through its competition policy, preferential procurement measures and expanded support to small and medium-sized businesses.
“After several difficult years, South Africa is emerging as an increasingly attractive destination for investment. We are encouraged by the growth in business confidence over the past few months, the strengthened rand and improved growth estimates,” said the President.
He welcomed the recent assessment by Goldman Sachs that South Africa is at the top of the list of potential candidates to be the “next big emerging market story” of 2018. It notes that the growth cycle is picking up after an earlier downturn in investment growth. It says that improved confidence is likely to lead to a better outlook for growth and investment.
“This was confirmed by the South Africa Economic Update released this month by the World Bank. While the economy’s performance is improving, it notes that higher growth will require ambitious structural policies. It estimates that a successful conclusion of the Mining Charter deliberations, for example, could increase investment in the sector by 25 percent,” added President Ramaphosa.
He explained that it was for these reasons that government was embarking on an ambitious investment drive alongside the implementation of necessary economic reforms.
“South Africa has entered a new era of hope and confidence.The task we have now is to ensure that this becomes an era of investment, growth, job creation and meaningful economic transformation,” said President Ramaphosa.