SA committed to development

Thursday, October 5, 2017

South Africa is committed to improving its global competitiveness and reputation in order to grow the economy.

These development imperatives are guided by the National Development Plan (NDP), says Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

“South Africa remains cognisant of the work that lies ahead to ensure that our country remains an attractive investment destination and competitive nation brand,” the Minister said on Thursday.

Addressing the Nation Brand Forum in Johannesburg, which was hosted by Brand South Africa, Minister Dlodlo said as South Africa moves forward with the implementation of the NDP, it will put the country in good stead to have a positive national brand narrative.

The Nation Brand Forum is a strategic Brand South Africa platform, through which the organisation endeavours to create an open space for engagement with stakeholders in government, business and civil society.

The consultative forum will advise on how best the organisation can inspire innovation and utilise the existing business excellence present in the South African context to better market, profile and position the Nation Brand in Emerging Markets.

“A well marketed and globally positioned Nation Brand can contribute to attract investment, aid with market entry strategy by increasing awareness of the country in international markets, while also bringing more tourists, students and specialised skills to the country.

“Country development strategies that ultimately aim to build positive nation brands should be premised on approaches that can help people to adapt their views and acquire new knowledge and skills, and spread new social messages to large audiences,” Minister Dlodlo said.

She said South Africa’s private sector is one of the most dynamic and diversified on the African continent.

"Domestic companies are active across a number of sectors regionally and internationally – from mining and minerals to electronics and clean technologies.

“Recognising the size and potential for growth in the South African market, and the country's strategic position as a finance hub, several multinational companies established their offices in the country, including Google and Microsoft,” Minister Dlodlo said.

Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer Dr Kingsley Makhubela said the African continent is a very strategic partner for South Africans.

“People are starting to look at the African continent as a market… because it has the potential to grow… It’s growing from a very low base. That is why Facebook is willing to put Wi-Fi across some of the poorest countries in the continent... it’s to access that business,” Makhubela said.

He said most of the countries in the developing world have not reached their full potential of the industrial revolution.

“The continent provides huge opportunities. Let’s not look at emerging markets far away. Let’s start by strategically looking at the continent and see what we can do. We need to behave in a very responsible way… and empower people within the continent,” Makhubela said.

By doing that, South Africa is going to build its credibility as a nation and attain the reputation it desires.

“We are a caring nation. We are very concerned about the plight of the continent and the plight of the poor across the world,” Makhubela said. – SANews.gov.za

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