President Jacob Zuma has told South African ambassadors and high commissioners stationed abroad to continue telling the country's good story of success, while marketing the country's goods and services.
Given all the global and national economic complexities, he said, the country needs its ambassadors to work harder as Heads of Missions to ensure that South Africa becomes a preferred destination for any prospective tourist and also for business.
"We want more markets for South African goods abroad and we want more investments to flow towards South Africa. We want you to play your role in this regard," he said on Sunday at the 2014 Heads of Mission Conference.
The new government, he said, has continued to put the economy as the apex priority in the next five years with the growth target set for five percent by 2019.
The efforts, he said, would be promoting a positive environment for economic growth and development in order to address poverty, unemployment and inequality.
He said missions should gear themselves to support the economic cluster and the country's business community in opening up opportunities for engagement.
"Our Heads of Mission should prepare themselves for vigorous marketing and trade promotion over the next five years," President Zuma said.
"We want to open more opportunities abroad for our goods and services and also want to attract more investment towards our country in the next five years."
The President said he intends meeting with business soon to discuss this matter. "Nothing is impossible if we work together, putting our country first."
The Department of Trade (dti) and Industry has started marketing South Africa and has set a target of creating 15 government to government trade platforms, to hold 19 Trade and Outward Investment Missions, facilitate the signing of 11 Enabling Agreements.
The dti also wants to address market access barriers in some countries in the continent and provide training on Standards and Quality Assurance in some countries, while it continues to explore trade and investment opportunities within BRICS countries.
As part of rebranding South Africa, government has also established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Information and Publicity led by the Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe. They will work with other departments to promote strategic communication campaigns to keep South Africans informed and also to promote economic and commercial diplomacy.
The President has also ordered the ambassadors to promote the National Development Plan Vision for 2030 and continue to promote the African Agenda, saying it remains the anchor of South Africa's foreign policy.
"We should thus continue to work closely in support of the African Union, and its agencies to build a credible, prosperous and peaceful Africa."