Pretoria- South Africa is open for business and is looking to explore opportunities in the small and medium enterprises in the US, says President Jacob Zuma.
Speaking at the South Africa-Houston Partnership Business lunch in Texas on Friday Zuma said South Africa is open to foreign direct investment as a means to drive economic growth as well as to improve competitiveness and to have access to foreign markets for exports.
“With an improved business climate in Africa’s economies we must explore opportunities for joint-venture partnerships between private sector entities on the continent and US private sector, particularly American SMMEs,” said Zuma.
The President saw opportunity in the US’ National Export Initiative (NEI) which one of its implementation measures is technical and financial support to US SMMEs so that they are able to access international markets.
“Partnerships at the level of emerging and small enterprises are the engine of economic growth in Africa,” he explained.
Of the challenges faced by the African private sector is the size of African enterprises compared to global multinational companies a feat which can be overcome by genuine opportunities.
“We are encouraging investments in Africa with good reason. Numerous studies have confirmed that the rate of return on investments and partnerships in Africa is higher than in any developing region.
“This bodes well for US entities that are enterprising enough to look towards Africa for their own growth, not only through merchandise exports but through actual direct investment and physical presence in African countries,” explained the President.
Zuma encouraged South African companies to explore opportunities in the US.
Additionally South Africa is working towards a framework for extracting more value from mineral products and on exporting higher-value added products to other countries. -BuaNews