The core message that South Africa will be taking to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, this week, is that its diversified economy provides the basis for sustained growth and returns on invested capital.
A statement from the South African government delegation in Davos painted SA as “the most developed, diversified, technologically advanced and industrially integrated economy on the African continent”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a strong team to the 2019 WEF annual meeting as South Africa aims to ramp up international investment.
At a pre-WEF breakfast in Johannesburg last week, Ramaphosa said WEF would allow South Africa to build on the success of the President’s Investment Conference in October last year where R290 billion was raised for future investments.
“We are going to Davos to interact with potential investors,” Ramaphosa said. “We are competing with other emerging markets where there is an oasis of investment opportunities for global investors and it’s where we want to be seen to be investing.”
Team South Africa will be selling the country as a preferred investment destination in Africa and also an important gateway for markets and other business opportunities throughout the continent.
The statement added that the SA economy had become “increasingly diversified over the years, thereby reducing its sectoral concentration risks, particularly in mining”.
“This has unlocked a diverse range of high yield investment opportunities, predominantly but not exclusively in sectors with high export propensities.”
Team SA, for whom Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is the lead co-ordinator, will highlight the top five sectors as finance and business services, general government services, trade, catering and accommodation services, manufacturing, as well as transport, storage and communication services, which accounted for 76% of GDP in 2017.
Team SA will further point to an inherent global competitiveness due to the success of many domestic industries in export markets which are supported by a competitive exchange rate and an economy that boasts an extensive and modern infrastructure network, which is constantly being expanded due to a massive public sector investment programme.
All this added up to an “attractive pull factor for investors”.
Stuttering economic growth has put a damper on South Africa’s prospects in recent years, but the SA delegation will point to a recent upturn in growth and forecasts and the fact that the country is poised to achieve a higher growth trajectory.
“Recent political developments, including governance reforms on State-Owned Corporations, as well as efforts to root out public and private sector corruption, have been widely welcomed, resulting in a clear recovery in business, investor and consumer sentiment,” the statement added.
Ramaphosa will be accompanied to Davos by Mboweni, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi and Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe.
Presidential investment envoys Trevor Manuel and Jacques Marie will also form part of the SA delegation.
The theme for WEF this year is Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
– African News Agency (ANA)