Although the World Investment Report‚ released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development‚ showed that aggregate global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows had declined‚ South Africa had still attracted a substantial $5.7-billion in 2014‚ President Jacob Zuma told Parliament during Thursday’s oral replies to the National Assembly.
Democratic Alliance‚ Mmusi Maimane‚ had asked the president:
“Despite anecdotal evidence showing new instances of investment into the country‚ the United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development’s 2015 World Investment Report found that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country decreased by 31% during the period under review and also found that outward FDI flows increased by more than 10% as South African companies sought profits elsewhere in the world‚ what plans and targeted interventions does the government have in place to turn the tide of dwindling foreign investment and ultimately the loss of jobs because of this decreased business confidence in our economy?”
In his answer‚ the president said‚ “South Africa was again the largest recipient of FDI on the African continent. South Africa also remains an attractive investments destination as per the latest Ernst and Young attractive destination survey.
“Multinationals have affirmed South Africa as a regional manufacturing hub and have retained and expanded their investments in new plants. Many companies have invested in expansions‚ upgrades and new plants in South Africa.
“However‚ South Africa cannot be complacent. During the State of the Nation Address‚ I announced a nine point plan to push the economy forward‚ ignite growth and create jobs. Government is also committed to improve the investment climate and enhance the ease of doing business.
“The nine point plan consists of the following: Revitalisation of the agriculture and agro-processing value-chain; advancing beneficiation and adding value to our mineral wealth; more effective implementation of a higher impact Industrial Policy Action Plan; unlocking the potential of SMME‚ co-operatives‚ township and rural enterprise; resolving the energy challenge; stabilising the labour market; scaling-up private-sector investment and growing the ocean economy.
“We are also intervening in cross-cutting areas to reform‚ boost and diversify the economy which are interventions in: science‚ technology and innovation; water and sanitation; transport infrastructure; broadband rollout and state-owned companies.
“Government is also committed to improve the investment climate and enhance the ease of doing business.”
The president said the one stop inter-departmental clearing house to attend to investor complaints and problems had been established as promised.
“In addition to South Africa being a destination for FDI‚ we are now also an important source of FDI on the African continent.
“The African continent is the next growth frontier. South Africa is in the fortunate position of having identified the growth opportunities in our continent many years ago.
“This is why our trade policy prioritises regional development through the Tripartite Free Trade Area‚ which was signed last month in Egypt as well as the envisaged Continental Free Trade Area.
“These agreements do not only open the door to South African exports. They also provide investment opportunities for companies owned by South Africans or which are domiciled in South Africa.”
The president said these investments showed the extent to which South African entrepreneurs and companies had become serious participants in the global economy due to successes at home.
Source: RDM News Wire.
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