The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will lead a delegation from the country’s eight Special Economic Zones on an investment roadshow to China.
The 25-member delegation, which is drawn from Special Economic Zones (SEZs), will partake in the six-day investment roadshow that kicks off on Saturday.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the roadshow is part of the implementation of the undertakings of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA) signed between South Africa and China in 2011.
It is also part of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which took place in Johannesburg, in 2015.
China agreed to support South Africa and Africa’s initiatives of industrialisation and beneficiation. It is also part of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that the dti signed with the Bank of China in March this year.
“The investment roadshow seeks to attract varied potential investors in different sectors to invest in the South African SEZs. As our focus in regard to the SEZ implementation programme is on attracting investments into the SEZs, the ultimate objective of the roadshows of this nature is to bring high-level local and international investors together with a view to entice them to invest in South Africa,” said Minister Davies on Friday.
The investment roadshow will take place in the form of seminars and business roundtables where the South African delegation will present on the country’s SEZ opportunities. Each seminar will be followed by networking and match-making sessions.
The seminars will provide a platform wherein the South African SEZ operators will have an opportunity to meet and present their value propositions to potential Chinese investors, finance Institutions, and government representatives,” says Minister Davies.
The Minister said the dti seeks to derive value from the cooperation agreement with China on SEZs, particularly as South Africa embarks on industrialisation and mineral beneficiation programmes.
Currently, there are major flagship investment projects that South Africa is implementing in partnership with the Chinese government. These include the planning and development of high-tech and science industrial parks, a metallurgical SEZ, and capacity building programme.
“China is the second biggest economy in the world, and the biggest South Africa’s trading partner. China’s market remains a key strategic priority for South Africa’s raw material and value-added products.
“More importantly, the dti has entered into a number of strategic partnerships with the Chinese government. The main purpose of these strategic partnerships is to foster cooperation on Investment promotion and facilitation, infrastructure development, exchange of information and human resource development.”
He added that in order to have vibrant SEZs and competitive regional economies, it is necessary to continuously implement a systematic marketing and investment approach for the various SEZs in South Africa.
Speaking at the launch of the Maluti a Phofung Special Economic Zone in the Free State last month, President Jacob Zuma said government is keen to promote industrial development.
“This launch and the development of the Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ demonstrates our promotion of industrial development which is key to the nation’s long-term economic success and prosperity,” said President Zuma.