Today, the world investors listened attentively to the team from KwaZulu-Natal which was led by KZN MEC for Finance, Ms Ina Cronjé and KZN MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Ms Nomusa Dube, which showcased South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal to the international investors who attended the 16th Annual Wall Street Economic Summit, in New York City in the United States of America.
The second day of the three day summit focused more on Africa. The delegation led by MEC Cronjé and MEC Dube, used this platform to invite US investors to invest in the province.
The presentations from the KZN delegation took investors by storm as they highlighted a number of opportunities on the African continent.
Engaging the investors MEC Cronjé said:
"KwaZulu-Natal is ready to do business with the world. We are not looking for aid but we are ready to trade with the world. Our province is an investors dream with large infrastructure projects in the pipeline, sophisticated and fast growing information and communication technology, an excellent transport system and generally good existing infrastructure.
We have two large ports with Durban being the busiest and Richards Bay the deepest in Africa. It is also a tourist paradise with subtropical weather along the cost making a beach holiday an all year round possibility. KwaZulu-Natal is also home to two world heritage sites, with Ukhahlamba/ Drakensberg providing opportunities for a holiday in the mountains. For us the sky is the limit and we are inviting the world to do business with us".
MEC Dube said that:
"We are a prosperous province with a healthy, secure and skilled population acting as a gateway to Africa and the World. You can never have enough of investment in South Africa as there are huge opportunities. KwaZulu-Natal has a high agricultural potential and has positioned itself well for export through the Dube Trade port. We recognise the impact of climatic change which is why we are promoting the green economy".
Among other speakers that participated on Doing Business with Africa session were President of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ms Thato Tsautse, eThekwini Speaker, Cllr Logie Naidoo, KZN African Renaissance Deputy Chairperson, Prof Sihawu Ngubane, and Development Bank of Southern Africa Group Executive, Ms Sinazo Sibisi.
The founder and the President of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Rev Jesse Jackson, who organised this international conference, said that
"We still have to go a long way to realise Dr Martin Luther King's dream of the economic justice. That is why this year's theme is Wall Street to Main Street: economic parity. While some in America and in Africa have prospered, many in our communities have suffered significant losses in recent years and that is why we must continue to fight for economic justice and parity. During apartheid, our movement demanded corporations divest from South Africa. Now we must demand investment in the New South Africa"
Also speaking at the conference was the former president of the United States of America, Mr Bill Clinton who emphasised the importance of small to medium enterprise development in Africa and America. He also referred to a mismatch between skills of workers and the needs of a modern economy -- we are not producing enough scientist and engineers.
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury