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SA’s economy most diverse in Africa

SA’s economy most diverse in Africa [Image: buzzsouthafrica.com]

South Africa as a foreign direct investment destination is regarded as one of the best on the continent. “South Africa remains the most diverse economy on the continent – providing a supportive regulatory framework, a well-developed infrastructure network, a world class financial hub and world class services for business opportunities,” Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, South Africa remained the top foreign direct investment destination in Africa during 2013, significantly increasing foreign direct investment inflows from $4.6bn in 2012 to $8.1bn in 2013, mostly in green field’s investments.

Speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Friday ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, Minister Radebe said South Africa continues to make strides in improving the ease of doing business.

“South Africa, if compared to other BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] nations, comes first in the five of the 10 criteria the World Bank uses to assess ease of doing business – starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting investors and paying taxes,” he said.

Minister Radebe said South Africa’s infrastructure build programme is contributing positively to the country’s competiveness as well as supporting regional integration, investment support and growth in Southern Africa.

The public sector has invested R847.3bn in the infrastructure programme in this current financial year.

“This has contributed to the ease of movement of people, goods and services within South Africa and in the sub region,” the Minister said.

He reiterated that government condemned the acts of violence that were levelled against some foreign nationals in parts of the country.

Government has taken steps in this regard and some of the people who carried out the attacks have been arrested.

President Jacob Zuma set up the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Migration which has been mandated to deal with all the underlying causes of the tensions between communities and the foreign nationals.

Some of the areas to be addressed by the IMC is the implementation of labour relations policies which affect foreign nationals; the implementation of the laws that govern business licenses; the country’s border management and generally the country’s migration policies.

WEF Director, Head of Africa, Elsie Kanza said Africa has made great strides politically, economically and socially since 1990 but the continent is also faced challenges.

These challenges, such as job creation, migration, skills development and infrastructure, are expected to be discussed at the forum which will take place from 3 - 5 June in Cape Town.

“What is clear is that the appetite among the forum’s constituents and partners for public-private cooperation to solve these challenges has never been greater,” Kanza said.

She was proud to be able to say that women will have a representation of more than 25 percent at the event.

“Of course this should be 50%, but no other World Economic Forum meeting has achieved such a ratio ever,” Kanza said.

South Africa will host the forum under the theme: “Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future.”

Convened for regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society, the forum will take stock of progress made over the last 25 years, share insights on the present landscape and identify innovative approaches to accelerate inclusive growth while bring about sustainable development in the future.

More than 1,200 people are expected to attend the forum

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