Thursday, 24 March 2022

Sandton: The South African Investment Conference (SAIC) will highlight the country’s resilience, as well as showcase the many investment opportunities available as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outlining the programme for the fourth SAIC on Thursday, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, said delegates will also receive a report back on the progress of previous investment commitments.

The SAIC will profile the strengths and comparative advantages South Africa offers investors and trade partners in a period of growing African integration through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Patel said a number of pledges will be made by investors for new investments in the South African economy.

“Pledges will focus on sectors that have driven innovation, such as the production of vaccines and a shift in digital services. Pledges will see [us] plug the gap in South Africa’s energy supply through building and supplying new sources of energy.

“Commitments [will come] from film producers and fashion producers that drive the creative sector. Announcements [will come] from traditional, heavy manufacturing industries, ranging from steel and metal fabrications to those who build cars and those who grow and make food,” the Minister said.

In addition, the country is expecting investment pledges from firms operating in Special Economic Zones, the small business sector and pledges for significant sums of money from development funding institutions, and funding agencies globally and in South Africa.

Patel made these remarks at the Sandton Convention Centre during the opening of SAIC, which is part of government’s investment drive to attract R1.2 trillion over five years.

The SAIC attracts delegates from South Africa and across the world to discuss investment opportunities in the country. Since the first investment conference in 2018, South Africa has attracted R770 billion in commitments across a wide range of economic sectors.

A host of panel discussions on a range of areas, relevant to investors and policy makers, will take place at the conference, as well as plenary sessions on the great opportunities of integrating the African market, which can be unlocked through the African Continental Free Trade Area – a pivot to Africa-led growth.

The conference follows the 2022 State of the Nation Address, which sent a strong message that the country is open for business and that working in partnership with business, labour and civil society, the environment can be conducive for business to flourish and create jobs.

The conference complements the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that supports economic recovery towards growth and a rebound in employment through structural reforms and investment in infrastructure.