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City and Wesgro work hand in glove to secure investments

This week is the start of the new financial year with a renewed focus on programmes aimed at assisting all sectors and levels of the economy, from work-seekers to entrepreneurs, small businesses and high-growth sectors.

 In the City’s Economic Growth Directorate’s budget, funding is allocated towards various Special Purpose Vehicles that are tasked with contributing towards new business opportunities in specific fields ranging from investment promotion, green energy, tourism, marine manufacturing, clothing production, call centres and technology that will create jobs and economic prosperity for Capetonians.

Our partnership with Wesgro is an example of this success, with the organisation being the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

It gives me great pride that the City and Wesgro will be continuing this partnership with its sustained strong commitment to projects that will help grow our economy and bring about employment.

Following consultations with industry roleplayers and business groups across Cape Town, I gave careful consideration to what kind of programmes Wesgro will need to undertake and what the City will fund. These projects will give Cape Town a competitive advantage and create local, African and global connections that will allow trade to flourish:

·       This includes the Air Access and Cruise Cape Town initiatives, which have connected the Mother City with other global destinations, bringing more air and sea travellers to our shores. Not only has this brought more tourists to Cape Town, it has also boosted our link to key source markets, allowing for more global exports of Mother City-made goods. More exports means increased production, which means more jobs and a stronger economy.

·       Related to this, they will also facilitate an Export Advancement programme this year that will include training Capetonian companies in selling their services and products abroad. Wesgro will also have a dedicated unit focussed on unlocking service export opportunities, including research and strategy development and Outward Foreign Direct Investment missions and promotional and networking events.

·       Wesgro’s – which serves as a marketplace, an export resource centre and virtual trade platform connecting Cape Town and Western Cape-based exporters with international buyers 24/7 – continues to attract buyers from across the globe. The team will continue to build and enhance the platform, to further assist local exporters in meeting potential buyers around the world.

·       Similarly, boosting the metro’s already stellar profile in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and exhibitions) sector through the Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau. The bureau has secured 27 bids for major conferences that will take place in the coming years. With just these events, we are estimating that a projected R393,4 million will be injected into the local economy.

There is no time to waste. We have already begun the work of getting these initiatives off the ground. Together with our partners, the City is moving towards its goal of creating a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

The mission is to grow the economy and build a city of hope. With it, the City’s directorate and I can continue to administer and fund projects, like the Business Retention and Expansion programme in commercial nodes across the metro to help companies to not only keep their doors open, but to grow. We just launched this initiative in Atlantis and Epping and next month we’re all set to roll it out in Stikland and Blackheath.

Wesgro CEO, Wrenelle Stander, commented: ‘The City of Cape Town is a valued stakeholder of Wesgro, with a shared vision to increase Cape Town and the Western Cape’s global competitiveness across tourism, trade and investment. We remain dedicated to promoting the Cape as a world-class tourism destination, an investment destination of choice for global and local investors, a sought-after source market for goods and services and a filmmaker’s hub on the continent.’

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