South Africa is the finest market access regimes and is gateway

New Delhi [India], Oct.12 : Yunus Hoosen, Head, Invest South Africa, while addressing the session on 'Investment Opportunities in South Africa' at the BRICS Trade Fair here today, gave an overview of the investment environment in South Africa.

He said South Africa has always been a trading nation and regarded manufacturing as the heartbeat of industrial policy and action plan.

It contributes 13 per cent of GDP along with other key sectors including services, infrastructure and agriculture.

Mentioning the various benefits that the country offers, he said that it has one of the finest market access regimes and is the gateway to Africa.

South Africa is moving towards a knowledge based economy with focus on high infrastructure and accessibility, ICT and connectivity through road, railways and airways.

With emphasis on trade, he mentioned that South Africa is strategically located as an export platform and that the export partners have diversified over the years.

Mr. Hoosen elaborated on the priority sectors for foreign direct investment which included manufacturing, nanotechnology, metals, bio fuels and mining.

He spoke about the government procurement programme which aims at promoting joint ventures to facilitate foreign investor localisation in various sectors.

He touched upon the increasing accord being given to "Green Economy" which aims at creating 5 million jobs in South Africa by 2020.

He said that Invest South Africa is a one stop shop for investor facilitation and South Africa offers a very strong case for investment.

Sihle Zikalala, Chaiperson, MEC, gave a presentation on the state of Kwazulu Natala which is the second most populous state in South Africa and has been growing at a rate of 3.6 per cent from 2004-14.

He mentioned that it is an attractive destination for business and trade as it ranks third highest in terms of export and import and ranks second in terms of industrialisation.

A key feature of the province is that it has major seaports of the country and handles nearly 80 per cent of South Africa's cargo.

Some of the significant factors for investment include attractive investment climate, strong public support, skilled and experienced manpower, mature domestic market, global connectivity and vibrant tourism.

In terms of the major sectors, manufacturing plays a leading role and accounts for one third of exports.

Other sectors include maritime, tourism, agriculture and aerotropolis. Hamish Erkshine, CEO Dube Port, spoke about the Dube Trade Port (DTP) as South Africa's premier air logistics platform.

He mentioned that investment in South Africa is strongly supported by public sector and added that DTP has a status of a special economic zone with integrated transport and logistics platform.

The value proposition that it provides includes proximity to major ports, integrated supply chain, world class infrastructure and special incentives such as reduced corporate tax, building allowance among others.

He said that the focus is on hard value sectors with a target on electronics, aerospace, agriculture and agro processing, medical and pharmaceuticals, textiles and automotive manufacturing and assembly.

DTP has already secured an investment of USD 103 million which includes investments from leading international companies from India and China.

Kuni of WESGRO, spoke about the services that WESGRO provides as a trade, investment and tourism promotion agency for Cape Town and Western Cape.

The key services include business facilitation and promotion with a key mandate of facilitating outward FDI.

He mentioned that the focus for this year has been infrastructure development and establishing international partnership to attract investments.

Some of the major points of attractiveness for investing in the Western Cape include ease of doing business, strong government and industry collaboration, quality lifestyle and great air connectivity.

The sectors that have gained importance over the years include manufacturing and services with a focus on metals and financial services respectively.

The top sources of FDI and trade include US and Europe with a growing contribution by India and China.

Source: ANI