President concludes German visit

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa is back in the country after a successful working visit to Germany, where he attended the G20 Investment Summit and the G20 Compact with Africa Conference.

The visit reinforced cooperation between the governments of South Africa and Germany on bilateral and global issues. It underscored the critical importance of German investment to South Africa’s efforts to stimulate sustainable and inclusive economic growth as a means to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, President Ramaphosa addressed the G20 Investment Summit in Berlin in his capacity as co-chair of the G20-Africa Advisory Group.

The summit was attended by Heads of State and Government of the Compact with Africa (CwA) countries, as well as German business leaders, who affirmed Africa as an attractive destination and partner for trade, investment and the transfer of skills and technology.

The Presidency said the G20 Compact with Africa conference reviewed progress made since the 2017 Hamburg Summit and leaders exchanged views on building on the partnership geared towards the promotion of investment in Africa.

President Ramaphosa also had a business breakfast with German corporate leaders, trade financiers and investment promotion agencies who were hosted by the chairman of the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business, Heinz-Walter Grobe.

In the meeting, German business leaders briefed the President on their experiences in South Africa, including some of the challenges of doing business.

“The President emphasised government’s commitment to listen to the needs and concerns of investors and to address these as a matter of priority. President Cyril Ramaphosa commended German investors for their continued engagement with South Africa,” the Presidency said.

Currently, there are about 600 German companies in South Africa, employing more than 100 000 South Africans.

The President said German companies are among the committed partners accompanying South Africa on its journey of renewal after several years of poor economic performance.

“President Ramaphosa assured German investors that government was leading an effort to energise South Africans to work in unison to end corruption and achieve sustainable, inclusive growth,” the Presidency said.  

President Ramaphosa commenced his working visit with a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, where he expressed South Africa’s appreciation for Germany’s ongoing bilateral assistance in critical development areas like health and skills development.

The two leaders reflected on measures taken by South Africa to improve the investment environment, including addressing policy uncertainty.

President Ramaphosa noted that several German companies had made investment announcements during the recent South Africa Investment Conference and that German companies played a significant role in developing skills and building capacity in South Africa.

The two leaders agreed that bilateral relations would be strengthened through the Bi-National Commission, which will be convened early in 2019.

Furthermore, President Ramaphosa and Merkel agreed on intensified cooperation in the United Nations Security Council during the two countries’ respective UNSC terms in 2019-2020.

“South Africa and Germany are committed to working together to ensure that the Security Council contributes meaningfully to resolving important questions on international peace and security.

“This is of particular importance to Africa, which accounts for more than 60% of the Security Council agenda,” the Presidency said.

The President and the Chancellor also agreed on the importance of continuing with the G20 Compact with Africa initiative and committed to an expansion of trade and investment between South Africa and Germany. -