In an effort to lure foreign investors, President Cyril Ramaphosa has sold the good story of South Africa’s efforts to ease investment into the country’s economy.
As he invited the world to another investment summit in November, he urged Japanese investors on Wednesday to come and see for themselves.
Ramaphosa told the South Africa/Japan Business Forum in Yokohama, Japan, that as a way to create a conducive environment for business to thrive and achieve an “entrepreneurial state”, South Africa was implementing a revitalised industrial policy.
He said the policy would see more effective support to a wide range of sectors, from automotive to metal fabrication and renewable energy.
At last year’s inaugural Investment Conference, local and international investors announced a total of 20 billion US dollars investment into the South African economy.
Ramaphosa said the next investment summit scheduled for November 5-7 in Johannesburg was a unique opportunity for foreign investors to see what other companies in South Africa were doing and what the country had to offer.
“We recognise that these support measures are only meaningful if we create a [conducive] environment for business to thrive. To that end, we have embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at creating what we call an entrepreneurial state,” Ramaphosa said.
This is a state that can work with the private sector to promote competitiveness and assure the success of our business partners.
“We are hard at work reviewing our visa regime, to smooth access for business people, and are undertaking key reforms to promote certainty in areas like mining and telecommunications, he said.
Ramaphosa was in Japan to attend the seventh TICAD Summit, which he said was an indication of strong SA-Japanese relations as Tokyo was Pretoria’s most important partner.
Ramaphosa mentioned that South Africa offered a comprehensive set of incentives and support measures, including a growing network of special economic zones, and targeted support for those investing in new infrastructure and new technologies.
“Our aim is to create quality jobs for our people and address the inequalities that we have inherited from our past and which continue to undermine inclusive economic growth.
It is for this reason that we have pursued policies over the last 25 years that have sought to provide black South Africans with skills, assets, and opportunities that were denied to them under apartheid,” he said.
The president pointed out that the country was refining its black economic empowerment policies and accelerating land reform. He showed how it continued to strengthen the rule of law, ensured regulatory certainty, and offered extensive protection for investors.
“We ask those who come to South Africa to join us in building a fair and equal society and to recognise our vision of shared prosperity,” he added.
The business summit in Yokohama was hosted by Japanese car manufacturing giant, Nissan, which Ramaphosa lauded for its recent R3-billion investment in the production of a new Navara model in South Africa.