SA to showcase investment opportunities

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Next week’s much-anticipated Investment Conference will be a platform for South Africa to woo investors and showcase a more coherent narrative about the direction of South Africa’s economy.

This is according to Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel who on Thursday addressed the media on preparations to host the country’s first Investment Conference.

Themed ‘Accelerating Growth by Building Partnerships’, the conference will be held from 25 to 27 October at the Sandton Convention Centre. The Investment Conference follows a commitment made by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address in February this year.

Patel said the aim of the conference is to market the compelling opportunities in the country so as to encourage investments and create jobs.

Government would engage potential investors on “where we want the economy to go, where the opportunities are, how we are going to increase the rate of growth and how this would impact growth in the continent”.

“Government will use the opportunity to engage with investors and share the progress it is making in its journey towards political and economic recovery. This requires strengthening the credibility of our public institutions and unlocking the latent potential and innovative spirit of South Africa’s economy.”

The conference is also an opportunity to take further the many discussions and issues that came up during the Jobs Summit, FOCAC and BRICS Summit and now talk to people with resources who can invest in South Africa, Patel said.

South Africa was going for “a more coherent storyline instead of doing one thing and waiting an entire year to do another”.

President Ramaphosa is expected to open the conference on Friday. This will be followed by the announcement of bankable projects and then the plenary will break into sector-specific sessions.

Sessions will bring together both foreign and local investors the respective ministers to work out what can be done practically to boost investment.

About 50 investment experts are expected to attend and lead discussions.

While the summit will focus on the economy as a whole, delegates will drill down to key areas where there is a scope for growth. The President is also expected to meet and brief a number of Chief Executive Officers.

On Friday, investment announcements will be made. “Companies will take to the podium to indicate what they are committing to invest or they’ll sign Memoranda of Understanding when the investment commitments would be realised,” he said.

Patel said the conference is a key milestone in the country’s bold ambition to raise at least R1.2 trillion in new investment over the next five years. It is one in a series of initiatives being undertaken by government to ensure economic recovery and growth, and to create jobs and prevent further job losses.

In April this year, President Ramaphosa appointed four investment envoys, namely, former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel; the former Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas; businesswoman Phumzile Langeni and veteran businessman Jaco Maree. –