Regional industrialisation drive will require strong SADC Free Trade Area and Strong Partnerships with the private sector
Regional industrialisation drive will require a strong Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Area (FTA). This was said by the Director-General of Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Kgabo Mahoai.
Mahoai was speaking at the SADC Industrialisation Week that is taking place at The Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg from today and will end on Friday, 4 August 2017. The theme of the Week is Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains.
According to Mohoai who gave the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the FTA will facilitate increased export diversification, greater competitiveness, more inclusive growth and increased movement of goods and services.
This, he said would create the economies of scale to facilitate new industrial capabilities to take advantage of a large integrated market.
"The global economy is unfortunately characterised by serious push backs on globalisation and trade agreements. This has resulted in an increase in protectionism, with our small economies by global standards as SADC, we should therefore put more focus on improving efficiencies in the regional market and to promote regional integration," said Mohoai.
He added that it was paramount to provide an attractive business environment for industrial growth and more opportunities for the traders.
According to him, SADC Regional Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap can only be taken forward and implemented with the support of the region's private sector. He emphasised that the expertise and financial resources lies with the private sector, and were the ones who would ultimately take the investment decisions that are required.
Mahoai further made an appeal to the business sector to work with government to create new opportunities for cross border manufacturing under the SADC Industrialisation Strategy. He added that, growing the economy of the region is an investment in the future stability and socio-economic progress to the benefit of the citizens.
The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2023 was developed as an inclusive, long term modernisation scheme which will result in major economic and technological transformation of the region. The Strategy and Roadmap sets out three potential growth paths, namely agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and downstream processing value chains.
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry