INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CONFIDENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
The international community has demonstrated confidence in South Africa's economy as the number of investment initiatives have grown this past year.
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said South Africa has created new trade opportunities aimed at opening market access and deepening existing economic ties.
"This was implemented through bilateral meetings with targeted Government Ministries, meetings with potential investors, engagements with various Chambers of Commerce as well as taking part in national pavilions and tourism promotion events.
"These initiatives yielded increased sales of manufactured value-added exports by R1.2 billion which brings the cumulative total for the year to R3.8 billion," Radebe said on Friday.
The Minister was addressing the media on the outcomes of the last Cabinet meeting for the year which was held on Wednesday.
Furthermore, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows pipeline represents potential FDI of R13.1 billion particularly in the energy and chemicals sector.
This brings the total potential FDI for 2016 to R30 billion.
"It further demonstrates that our country is on a path to recovery and continues to be a viable investment destination," Radebe said.
He said the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan, the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and interventions such as Operation Phakisa have placed South Africa on a higher trajectory to realise Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan.
"Tourist arrivals figures went up by 14.8% in 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
"A total of about R39.3 billion foreign direct spend was achieved during the first months of 2016, which contributes to job creation and sustains the local economy," Radebe said.
He said this information confirms that South Africa remains a popular destination for international tourists.
"International tourism continues to be an important part of our economic diplomacy efforts, contributing to job creation and economic growth," Radebe said.
Cabinet has commended Team South Africa for stabilising the economy and investor confidence during these difficult economic times.
Team SA, which consists of government, business, labour and South Africans was initiated by President Jacob Zuma to get different sectors to work together to reignite the economy, attract investment and create jobs.
Rating agencies which include Moody's Investor Services, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor's recently kept South Africa's sovereign debt credit rating status above sub-investment grade.
"These positive developments should motivate us to work even harder to move South Africa forward.
"Concerns raised by the agencies have been noted and together with our social partners we are fast tracking interventions to turnaround the economy," Radebe said.
He said Cabinet remains confident that the path set out in the NDP and government's planned fiscal consolidation, together with the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan, will help South Africa remain an investment-grade country.
Cabinet has noted that the South Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.2% in the third quarter.
The main contributors to GDP growth were the mining and quarrying sector, finance, real estate and business services, and general government services.
Radebe said the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector contracted by -0.3%; manufacturing by -3.2%; electricity, gas and water by -2.9%; and trade, catering and accommodation by -2.1%.
He said the drought is still the largest contributor to the decline in the agriculture sector.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK