SA participates in international economic forum

Monday, June 5, 2017

Pretoria - Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe has hailed the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) as a successful platform to drive and promote Africa’s economic growth.

In a statement on Monday, the Deputy Minister said the talks and engagements with government officials and businesspeople at SPIEF were a great marketing tool for Africa’s integration.

SPIEF, which began on Thursday, 1 June, is an annual international conference dedicated to economic and business issues facing Russia, Africa and BRICS. It is held with the direct support of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

“The engagements also focused on accelerating some of the projects identified in our joint efforts with fellow BRICS members to gather impetus and be implemented. Inroads were also made in creating new markets for agro-processing and mining sectors, especially for emerging exporters and entrepreneurs for the East Asian markets,” said Deputy Minister Magwanishe.

The Deputy Minister said it is important for government to educate potential investors and businesspeople about the African agenda and the economic activities of the continent.

“Certain countries still do not know much about Africa’s economic activities and projects. The continent needs to do a lot of marketing to show its potential and focus on helping the facets of our economic activities like Russia and China do,” he said.

Deputy Minister Magwanishe said Africa should also move in the direction of creating platforms such as SPIEF in order to capitalise on some of the largest untapped reserves of minerals, oil and gas.

These platforms, he said, draw the attention of the most important economic players to the opportunities of a particular country and its potential.

The Deputy Minister said the value of SPIEF is evidenced by the signing of $35 billion worth of deals during the forum.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Magwanishe said the South African government will always advocate for continental development, market integration, regional industrialisation, infrastructure development and investments.

The St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which concluded on Saturday, attracts international participants, including government and business leaders from the emerging economic powers, as well as leading global voices from academia. 

The conference programme also included the BRICS Business Forum and Russia-Africa Round Table segments. –

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