President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised that South Africa remains one of the preferred investment destinations and is an important gateway for markets and other business opportunities throughout the continent.
The President was delivering remarks at the Procter & Gamble Plant launch in Kempton Park, in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.
“As a clear demonstration of the value of trade between African countries, Procter & Gamble currently exports from South Africa to Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana. We understand that the company is set to supply the African continent from South Africa through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area will unlock opportunities for the development of export markets, enhance industrial bases and regional value chains.
“We expect the continental free trade area to reduce the cost and improve the ease of doing business in Africa,” he said, adding that government wants to make the movement of products, processes and people seamless as companies increase their footprint on the continent.
Over the years, P&G has been a valuable partner to the South African government through the South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC), continually announcing new investments.
Procter & Gamble stands behind many brands that are household names in South Africa, such as Vicks, Old Spice, Gillette, Oral B and Pampers, amongst others, and has a strong manufacturing footprint in the country.
The company has been in Africa for over 50 years. It has manufacturing operations in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and Morocco, and has distributor operations in over 45 countries.
The President said that it has been greatly encouraging to see the company’s response to South Africa’s ambitious investment drive and the investment commitments made by the company at the five South Africa Investment Conferences that we have held since 2018.
“It is a pleasure being here today with all of you to launch this state-of-the-art production line of Pampers Premium Care. The timing of this launch is very opportune.
“South Africa has just hosted the 20th AGOA Forum. It was an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of the African continent to the United States, the world’s largest consumer market. I was pleased to see that leading companies that have an established presence on our continent, like Procter & Gamble, were represented,” he said.
The launch of Tuesday’s production line is the latest in a number of projects that have given effect to Procter & Gamble’s investment pledges.
Through these and other investments, Procter & Gamble is contributing to the reindustrialisation of South Africa’s economy.
“To drive growth that is sustainable and inclusive, we are working to expand and diversify our manufacturing base, and improve its competitiveness and dynamism,” he said.
The President noted that disruptions to global supply chains caused by COVID-19 lockdowns have highlighted the imperative for companies all over the world to diversify their sources of supply.
“Just as we have seen the benefits of nearshoring and localisation for South African manufacturers, we can appreciate its value to broader global supply stability.
“South Africa is an investment destination with significant untapped potential. We have the ability to attract higher levels of investment and we look forward to working with Procter & Gamble on its future pipeline of investments,” he said.
While investment decisions often take several years to reach fruition, the President said that the investment commitments made to date have already resulted in substantial investment into the productive economy and have created jobs.
He highlighted that Procter & Gamble has heeded government’s call and has sought to increase the participation of small South African businesses in its value chains.
“We are encouraged by the company’s commitment to sourcing local materials, reducing waste, promoting skills development and creating more roles for women in the company.
“We welcome the work the company has undertaken alongside government departments in expanding access to menstrual hygiene products and supporting Early Childhood Development centres.
“We see these partnerships as a testament to the continued commitment of Procter & Gamble to South Africa and the African continent,” the President said.
The President emphasised that government will continue to support Procter & Gamble to increase its footprint through local sourcing and to contribute to job creation, technological development and sustainability.
He congratulated the Procter & Gamble team, from the shop floor to the senior executives, on the launch of this production line.
The President further congratulated the team for the continuous stream of investments being made to increase the company’s footprint on the continent.
“Through the launch of this production line, Procter & Gamble is making a worthy contribution towards our vision of African producers supplying quality goods to African markets.
“This is the vision of a continent that is emerging as the next frontier of global production, meeting the needs of its own people and the peoples of the world,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za