South Africa is making steady but significant progress towards making the small business sector a key player in the economy.
"We are determined to sustain this positive momentum. The National Development Plan views small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and cooperatives as vehicles for the economic empowerment of the historically disadvantaged," Department of Small Business Development Director General, Dr Edith Vries, said.
She was addressing the China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF), which is currently underway in Guangzhou.
She said her department wants to see small businesses and cooperatives as the biggest beneficiaries of infrastructure development and economic cooperation between South Africa and China.
"The South African government and State agencies have invested more than R1 trillion in infrastructure between 2009 and 2014, largely in energy, road, rail, ports, public transport, bulk water and sanitation, hospitals, basic and higher education infrastructure and innovative projects such as the Square Kilometre Array and Meerkat telescopes," Vries said.
She urged Chinese SMMEs to work with South African entrepreneurs.
"We have established the Invest SA facility to ease the entry and regulatory environment for investors. This is a practical manifestation of our message that South Africa is open for business," she said.