This morning, in my capacity as the chair of the Ministerial Subcommittee on International Relations, I presided over a successful meeting attended by my colleagues in the executive council and the technical team.
This meeting marks the beginning of the rollout of international trade relations activities that will drive socio-economic development for the benefit of the people of this province.
In the meeting we reflected on upcoming programmes and strategies aimed at taking advantage of bilateral relations between South Africa and many countries around the globe.
As the world strides forward, we want to ensure that there us a breed of entrepreneurs who will help change the face of the economy post COVID-19.
Critically, this afternoon, I will officially meet His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia Salman Al Farisi. I am looking forward to meeting his Excellency and his delegation at Hilton Hotel, Durban just after 13h00.
The highlight of the meeting will be a formal introduction of the new Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia - our friend and a brother Ebrahim Patel.
He will remain a crucial link between the people of this province and the people of the Republic of Indonesia. He will facilitate people-to-people contact and initiate trade relations between our entrepreneurs and captains of industry in Indonesia.
As indicated, we will continue to look for trading partners as we reconfigure our economy. When we speak about economic recovery, we want to use our programme on infrastructure to stimulate economic growth and create much needed jobs.
The infrastructure development programme involves road construction, aviation, air-freight, rail, provision of water and sanitation services and electrification.
We are focusing on different sectors of our economy and we want KZN based entrepreneurs to have opportunities to partner with companies based in Indonesia.
I wish to single out tourism, agriculture, food processing, clothing and textile and many other sectors such as the digital economy.
Critically, as directed by the new economic recovery and transformation plan, we want remote areas of our province to be an integral part of economic development.
In this regard, we are encouraging potential investors to consider rural parts of our province for investments because of the vast track of land that is underdeveloped. This is the area where there is a potential for partnership facilitated through District Business Agencies located in municipalities.
Broadly speaking, this also forms part of our efforts aimed at dealing decisively with historic under-investment in rural areas by focusing on investments in infrastructure.
We want rural areas to benefit in order to ensure sustained and inclusive economic growth.
In a long run, the provision of infrastructure such as roads, water, electricity and internet connectivity will make rural areas more attractive to potential foreign direct investment.