As Wesgro CEO (Wesgro is the official Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape), I am committed to doing my part in making the Western Cape one of the world’s leading regional economies.
We recognise that to succeed in a changing world, we will be benchmarked against global competitors. This will be a competition – for new markets, new investments, new skills, and technological advantage. I believe digital transformation and green transition are two non-negotiable catalytic trends that will ensure competitiveness and sustainable growth.
The deepening of the tech and green value proposition is critical for destination competitiveness to capture its share of global investment focus. The Western Cape already has solid foundations for competitiveness in the new global economy.
The Tech Economy is already transforming many industries in the Western Cape’s traditional sectors. The leaders are here. As Africa’s Tech Capital, Cape Town attracts world-leading tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and many more. Cape Town is also home to local and other global leaders like Naspers and Construct. In addition, we are increasingly seeing an emergence of thematic home grown, tech ecosystems. In the health tech space, we are seeing the emergence of companies with capabilities spanning the spectrum from scientific research to vaccine manufacturing. In the agri tech space we are seeing a convergence between agriculture and technology, resulting in increased adoption of smart and drone technologies, precision farming, and increased energy self-sufficiency. We are also seeing strong growth in fin tech companies and in the creative industries.
Similarly, Cape Town’s status as a green economy hub is already attracting world-leading green industry giants like JUWI, Gestamp, Scatec. We recently welcomed US company, ArcVera Renewables. Interesting sub-sector opportunities are presenting including, however, not limited to - Green tech, utility scale renewable energy, small scale embedded generation, storage, lithium ion battery manufacturing, and electric mobility.
The bottom line is that we’re moving into a new race for global economic relevance and there is no time to waste. Those who move into developing tech and green capabilities will be ready to take the lion’s share of investment focus. Western Cape companies are already solving global problems, and our service exports are increasingly rapidly. I believe, we’re well on our way.