In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions

With an es­ti­mated eight mil­lion tonnes of plas­tic end­ing up in the world’s oceans each year, the sus­tain­abil­ity of our seas is un­der threat.

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Global lead­ers have com­mit­ted to turn­ing the tide on the degra­da­tion of the world’s oceans

Acom­mit­ment by global lead­ers to turn the tide on the degra­da­tion of the world’s oceans has earned the praise of Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Pres­i­dent re­cently em­barked on a work­ing visit to Canada dur­ing which he par­tic­i­pated in the G7 Lead­ers’ Out­reach Sum­mit.

South Africa’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the two-day ses­sion, which was held un­der the theme “Healthy, Pro­duc­tive and Re­silient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Com­mu­ni­ties”, was at the in­vi­ta­tion of Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau.

Mul­ti­lat­eral ap­proach

Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa de­scribed the sum­mit as a suc­cess and stressed the im­por­tance of the strong po­lit­i­cal sig­nal de­liv­ered by the G7 lead­ers to ad­dress is­sues fac­ing the world’s oceans, in­clud­ing stres­sors such as plas­tic pol­lu­tion, build­ing the re­silience of coasts and com­mu­ni­ties, im­prov­ing the pro­tec­tion of the world’s oceans and en­sur­ing sus­tain­able use of ma­rine re­sources.

He said it was im­por­tant to strengthen the mul­ti­lat­eral ap­proach to man­ag­ing ocean re­sources be­yond na­tional ju­ris­dic­tion.

Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa shared with other lead­ers South Africa’s strat­egy to re­search and de­velop al­ter­na­tives and sub­sti­tutes for sin­gle-use plas­tics.

These ac­tions by South Africa are com­ple­mented by co­op­er­a­tive strate­gies to ex­pand ma­rine pro­tected ar­eas and ad­dress over-ex­ploita­tion through il­le­gal, un­re­ported and un­reg­u­lated fish­eries de­tec­tion and en­force­ment, and are sup­ported by an in­te­grated, shared ocean in­for­ma­tion sys­tem

as a ba­sis for the sus­tain­able man­age­ment of the oceans and its users.

The Pres­i­dent be­lieves the ocean econ­omy has the po­ten­tial to cre­ate around one mil­lion jobs.

On the side­lines of the sum­mit, Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa held a num­ber of bi­lat­eral en­gage­ments with Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment from var­i­ous coun­tries in­clud­ing Nor­way, France, Ger­many, Viet­nam, Rwanda, Kenya and the host coun­try, Canada.

At­tract­ing in­vest­ment

In line with Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa’s drive to at­tract in­vest­ment to grow the econ­omy and cre­ate jobs, as well as re­duce poverty and in­equal­ity, the Pres­i­dent en­gaged with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the busi­ness com­mu­nity in Toronto.

He wel­comed the in­ter­est shown by the global busi­ness com­mu­nity in South Africa as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion and lauded the “won­der­ful ex­change of views” in a ses­sion he de­scribed as over­sold.

He told guests at the en­gage­ment that South Africa, which sees Canada as a strate­gic part­ner, has en­tered a new era in which the econ­omy is cen­tre stage.

“Busi­ness con­fi­dence and in­vestor sen­ti­ment is im­prov­ing. Gov­ern­ment is re­spond­ing to cre­ate a dy­namic and en­abling busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment that will pro­mote greater pro­duc­tive in­vest­ment. South Africa is un­der­tak­ing mea­sures to set the econ­omy on a new path of growth, em­ploy­ment and trans­for­ma­tion.”

“We are mov­ing swiftly to re­store cred­i­bil­ity, im­prove gov­er­nance and im­ple­ment turn­around strate­gies at South Africa’s state-owned en­ter­prises,” he said.

The Presidnt added that gov­ern­ment is work­ing with ur­gency to guide the econ­omy to­wards a more sus­tain­able growth tra­jec­tory

The G7 con­sists of Canada, the United States, Ja­pan, the United King­dom, Ger­many, France and Italy. Other states, whose lead­ers were in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the Lead­ers’ Sum­mit Out­reach, in­cluded Kenya, Sene­gal, Rwanda, Sey­chelles, Haiti, Bangladesh, Viet­nam, Samoa, Ar­gentina, Nor­way and Ja­maica. The In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, World Bank, United Na­tions and the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment also at­tended the ses­sion. and to re­store South Africa to in­vest­ment-grade sta­tus.

“We are work­ing to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the lev­els of fixed in­vest­ment in the econ­omy. We know that for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment is a crit­i­cal driver of eco­nomic growth for both de­vel­op­ing and de­vel­oped economies.

“It strength­ens pro­duc­tive ca­pac­ity through trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy and knowl­edge, the cre­ation of job op­por­tu­ni­ties, im­prove­ments in hu­man cap­i­tal and en­hanced pro­duc­tion pro­cesses. Greater cap­i­tal in­flows gen­er­ate greater trade flows, and with it the op­por­tu­nity for a coun­try like South Africa to de­rive greater value from its min­eral, agri­cul­tural and other re­sources,” said Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa.

Po­ten­tial in­vestors

It is for this rea­son that gov­ern­ment has em­barked on an in­vest­ment drive that aims to raise US$100 bil­lion over the next five years and ap­pointed four spe­cial en­voys on in­vest­ment that will meet po­ten­tial in­vestors both in South Africa and in ma­jor fi­nan­cial cen­tres.

“South Africa has em­barked on a new path of re­newal and growth. We are hard at work to re­move the con­straints that have held us back and to cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth.

“South Africa is open for busi­ness. We an­tic­i­pate a new wave of in­vest­ment in our econ­omy and in our re­gion over the next few years,” Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa said.

He en­cour­aged Cana­dian com­pa­nies to join the wave and reap the re­wards of in­vest­ing in a coun­try and a con­ti­nent on the rise.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa with Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Mkn]^Zn ]nkbg` ma^ @0 E^Z]^kl Out­reach Sum­mit.

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