Pretoria – South Africa has enormous potential as an investment destination that offers promising opportunities in automotive components, aerospace, chemicals and agro-processing, says Trade and Investment Minister Rob Davies.
Speaking at the Emirates Business Forum, held as part of President Jacob Zuma’s visit to that country, Davies made a strong case for South Africa, saying it was a promising emerging market in the world that presented a basket of investment opportunities.
Beyond these lucrative opportunities, Davies said the existence of co-operation between government and the private sector in the South African market put the country at an advantageous position, particularly in the global markets.
“Currently South Africa is the largest investor within the African continent, with our companies having established valuable expertise, knowledge and the required relationships to succeed in this promising market.
“By combining expertise and developing synergies, we believe that our companies could contribute to the socio-economic development of the African continent,” he told the business people.
Detailing some of the facts and successes, the minister mentioned South Africa’s ability to recover after the 2008 economic recession; the World Bank report which ranked South Africa 34th out of 183 in the world for the ease of doing business in 2010, and the fact that South
Africa was a gateway to the SADC region.
“We are confident that there are enormous opportunities in our country and the sub-continent, particularly for upgrading existing or new investments in manufacturing across a range of sectors both for domestic demand and export, including to the emerging African markets,” he said, adding that there was greater room to grow the volume of two-way trade and to create a more diversified balance of SA exports.
As it is, the United Arab Emirates is the 24th largest investor in South Africa, and has invested a total of R 1.07 billion since 2003, representing 0.25 percent of total capital investment in SA, whereas South Africa is the 19th largest investor in the UAE, having invested R 3.33 billion since 2003.
Trade between the two countries increased by 80 percent during the period 2006 – 2010. Although South Africa has a R361 million trade deficit with the UAE, exports amounted to R 6.1 billion during 2010, with imports totalling R6.5 billion.
Davies is part of Zuma’s delegation on the two-nation tour of the Gulf region. On Monday, Zuma visited the UAE and will visit Oman from today to Wednesday, with the aim of identifying greater investment opportunities for the country. – BuaNews