Team Western Cape ready to boost investment at inaugural Investment Summit

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Team Western Cape ready to boost investment at inaugural Investment Summit
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Team Western Cape ready to boost investment at inaugural Investment Summit
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25 October 2018

The intention to host the South Africa Investment Summit was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa at his State of the Nation Address in February this year. It forms part of the South African Government's investment drive to improve confidence in the country's economy and to help spur sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille and the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, jointly wrote to President Ramaphosa after the conference was announced to declare the City and Province's support for the initiative. Cape Town and the Western Cape is excited about contributing to a successful summit that will boost investment and create jobs in South Africa.

The Western Cape stand at the summit will showcase the many exciting opportunities for investment in the province, with key economic agencies present to assist local and international investors in attendance. The team consists of Laura Peinke, Executive: Business Development at the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ); Mike Mulcahy, the Chief Executive Officer at GreenCape; Tim Harris, Wesgro's Chief Executive Officer; Yaw Peprah, Wesgro's Chief Business Officer; Lean Muller, Head of Investment Promotion at the City of Cape Town (Invest Cape Town), and Salman Kajie, the manager of the InvestSA One Stop Shop in the Western Cape.

The provincial stands will be active on Friday, 26 October 2018.

The Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, highlighted that the number one priority for the Western Cape delegation attending the summit is to seek ways to grow the local economy and create jobs through increased investment: “Our message as the Western Cape is clear: We are a province of more, with thriving tech and finance hubs, world class infrastructure, and a wide skills base - we are open for business. We believe that by driving South Africa as an economically viable investment destination, we can help tackle the pressing issues of poverty and unemployment.”

Head of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and  Tourism, Solly Fourie added: “The summit aligns with our strategy for driving  economic growth and job creation through promoting trade and investment in our catalytic sectors including: oil and gas, tourism, agri-processing, green economy, marine economy, ICT and film and media promotion. The summit will assist us in our objective to boost these sectors by driving and identifying new potential inward investment.”

Echoing this sentiment, Janine Myburgh, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce, said: “One of the main reasons why investors are drawn to the Western Cape is the clear evidence that the economy is performing better than the national economy, and that there is a higher level of confidence in the future.”

Referencing the Western Cape Government Provincial Economic Review and Outlook, Myburgh went on to say that: “Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the fact that over the last seven years the value of newly completed buildings of all kinds has grown by an average of 16.2% a year. Any economy where the infrastructure is growing so rapidly is a good bet for investors.”

Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille commented that Cape Town has shown, in spite of the national economic downturn, that cities can be the drivers for economic change by creating an enabling environment for companies to invest and create employment. This was confirmed by Statistics South Africa that recently found employment in the metro grew 4.8% year-on-year with Cape Town having the lowest expanded unemployment rate, at 22.6%, compared to all metros.

“Key to Cape Town’s success is cooperation between all spheres of government and being a reliable and transparent partner for foreign and local investors. We have shown this with the success of Cape Town Air Access. Now, it is critical for all of us to forge partnerships for prosperity and inclusive growth for all South Africans. We cannot continue on a trajectory where only a very few enjoy the economic fruits of our democracy. South Africa is alive with opportunities, we must now create the enabling environment that will yield jobs for all our people,” said de Lille.

Director of Enterprise and Investment at the City of Cape Town, Lance Greyling echoed his support for this summit. “The City of Cape Town is delighted to be part of the President’s inaugural Investment Summit. Cape Town is a high-performance, African business hub that supports big ideas and innovation. The city ranks among the world’s top destinations to visit and has all the attributes that appeal to people looking for a great city in which to live, work, play and invest. There are a number of interesting sectors that have emerged in Cape Town, which investors will be particularly interested in. A lot of the sectors that Cape Town is doing well in are sectors that are poised for big global growth – sectors of the future. An example is the ICT sector – we are very much the tech hub of Africa with the most tech start-ups of any city on the continent, and we also have a mature ecosystem here that can support tech companies. In BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), we’re the leader in South Africa and in Africa. In terms of the renewable energy and clean-tech industries, we’re also a leader."

Representing Saldanha Bay IDZ, Laura Peinke added that attracting investment and supporting investors is vital to achieving the IDZ’s socio-economic mandate. “We are excited to be working together with our partners to realise investments and promote South Africa and the Saldanha Bay IDZ as a viable destination in which to do business. Attending the Investment Summit will also allow us the opportunity to hear first-hand some of the reasons why investors are looking to set up in South Africa, but also to understand the challenges and issues investors face – this will enable us to be dynamic and proactive in addressing these challenges, thereby creating a better ease-of-doing-business environment.”

The recent designation of the Atlantic Special Economic Zone, in particular, also provides a major opportunity for the provincial economy.

“The Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Green Technologies was designated in 2018, but has been attracting foreign investment since 2015. To date, R680 million has been invested thanks to availability of infrastructure, coordinated land processes and unlocking of market opportunities in the sector. We are targeting R1.8 billion of further investment in green technology manufacturing by 2022,” says Francis Jackson, the Atlantis SEZ Project Executive.

According to Jackson, "South Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing green economies, and the Atlantis SEZ offers an excellent value proposition for green technology manufacturers looking to expand into South Africa and Africa.”

With investment identified as a key economic enabler Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, went on to explain that the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and Wesgro recently launched a digitally-led international investor confidence marketing campaign, targeting investors in the Cape’s six top investment source-markets, namely: the USA, China, UK, France, Netherlands and Germany.

Highlighting the importance of this campaign in shifting the narrative that the Cape was only a tourist destination, Harris said: “A key component of this campaign is to tell the world that there is more to Cape Town and the Western Cape that meets the eye. We are a beautiful place to visit on holiday, but we are also a top business destination, and an economic powerhouse on the African continent. We are honoured to be invited to attend this inaugural event hosted by the President and will ensure we put our best foot forward with the team selected to represent our province.”

Accelerate Cape Town CEO, Ryan Ravens, concluded by saying: “The Western Cape represents an immense opportunity for investors. With an incredibly responsive and supportive regional government, four world-class universities along with two internationally recognised business schools, and a vibrantly innovative start-up ecosystem, the Western Cape is a great place to do business.”

Wesgro is Cape Town and the Western Cape's official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, and receives its mandate and funding from the Western Cape Government's Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Cape Town.