22 January 2016

South Africa: President Zuma Meets With Global Investors

Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma and his delegation have on Friday held what has been described as a fruitful and successful interaction with global investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The President met with global CEOs and chairmen of multinational corporations during the Business Interaction Group (BIG) on South Africa.

According to the Presidency, the interaction is an annual forum where the President and ministers engage international investors to discuss opportunities in the country and also to hear their views on improving the investment climate in the country.

"South Africa recognises the importance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which accounts for 42% of the country's Gross Domestic Product. Inward FDI flows continue to grow in South Africa.

"A number of companies have expanded operations and engaged in new investments. South Africa is also an important source of FDI for the African continent," said the Presidency.

In his remarks, President Zuma welcomed the foreign direct investment flows into the country.

He shared the country's response to the depressed economic climate especially the 9-Point Plan to ignite growth.

The plan includes agriculture and agro-processing, advanced beneficiation of mineral resources, higher impact industrial policy action plan, boosting small businesses, energy capacity increase, promoting FDI and developing a robust ocean economy, science and technology, water and sanitation and managing state-owned companies.

The President said the country was becoming a frontier for FDI on the green economy, ocean economy, oil and gas and others which provided new opportunities.

He also briefed the investors on the establishment on an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investments and the establishment of a one-stop interdepartmental clearing house to make it easier for companies to invest.

"We will focus on among others, cutting the red tape significantly to address the concerns that the investors have been raising," the President said.

The President also briefed the BIG meeting on the efforts to improve education and skills development including the building of new universities, training colleges and the building and refurbishment of schools.

The Presidency said investors sought information and also commented on various areas including energy, oil and gas, scrap metal industry, ocean economy, mineral beneficiation, human settlements and its importance in building social stability, regional integration, the need to stabilise growth and set expenditure ceilings.

"The prudent financial management of the country was addressed strongly by the President and the Ministers with an added emphasis on the country's robust monetary policy framework.

"It was acknowledged that South Africa has a good fiscal framework. The global CEOs emphasised the need to ensure that policies are implemented and that there is certainty at all times," said the Presidency.

The President said he was generally upbeat about the visit to Davos.

"We are very happy with the visit. It has definitely been worthwhile. Team South Africa has done extremely well in Davos, marketing the country in a difficult and very competitive economic climate.

"We managed to put our message across effectively and received a positive hearing."

He said there was a lot that needed to be done. "We are already working on many of the issues that the global business community has been raising. Team South Africa will meet at home to discuss all these matters further so that we can work together to build our country and take it forward," said the President.

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