The Deputy Director-General of Trade and Investment at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Ms Pumla Ncapayi has urged Russian companies to increase their investments in South Africa. Ncapayi was delivering a keynote address at the South Africa-Russia Business Council that took place in Pretoria today. The session was held on the sidelines of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) that is hosted by South Africa. The theme of the meeting was Mutual Trade and Investment Opportunities Towards Sustainable Development.
“Russia is South Africa’s key strategic trading partner within our Integrated National Export Strategy. South African exports increased from R2.1 billion in 2011 to R3.7 billion in 2015 reflecting an average growth of 16%. Whilst acknowledging the substantial growth in total trade between our countries, there is greater potential for trade gains with Russia, particularly in the identified sectors. By facilitating increased partnerships between South African and Russian businesses through the Council and government to government cooperation, these gains can be realised sooner rather than later,” said Ncapayi
“We therefore call upon Russian enterprises to take advantage of these opportunities for investment presented by the industrial reform of our economy in order to increase the level of Foreign Direct Investment which will further strengthen our economic partnership,” added Ncapayi.
Ncapayi said SA has successfully attracted investment from large Russian multinationals and the alignment of this investment to SA’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) was most welcome as it contributes to South Africa’s goals of industrialisation. Similarly, SA companies have invested in strategic sectors within the Russian economy
“To attract further investment in value-added manufacturing sectors in close proximity to the source of raw materials, South Africa has established Special Economic Zones which offer unparalleled opportunities for Russian investment. At the same time, they enable mutually beneficial partnering with South Africa to fulfil its development and industrialisation agenda,” explained Ncapayi.
“Additionally, the South African government has embarked on a campaign to fully exploit the potential of the oceans economy under an initiative called Operation Phakisa, where opportunities include aquaculture, marine transport and manufacturing, ship repair and oil and gas. Other opportunities are in the energy and infrastructure with targeted investments,” she said
Ncapayi singled out the Black Industrialists Programme as particularly important for potential Russian investors as the developments therein should provide assurance that partnering with beneficiaries of the government-led programme is a viable and profitable investment decision wherein technical and capacity resource constraints have been considered and partially addressed.
She stressed the need for mutual cooperation between business people and governments of both countries towards identification of complementarities, sharing of experiences and capacity building in a number of trade and investment related issues.