While South Africa is halfway to achieving its R1.2 billion investment target, the annual South Africa Investment Conference will not only insist on more investment, but also take into account its progress in implementing it.
The delivery of the 2020 investment conference will be held in Sandton, Gauteng, from 17-18 November 2020.
‘We had about R664 billion in investment promised in the first two conferences that were invested. Of course, COVID-19 has an impact on the investment climate and on economic performance and world markets, and we need to address that now.
“This conference is an opportunity to evaluate what progress we have made in getting that R664 billion of an idea in the mind of an investor, to the point where brick and mortar hit the ground,” said Minister Ebrahim Patel. of trade, industry and competition, said Monday.
Patel, along with the president’s economic adviser, Trudi Makhaya, spoke at a media conference about the preparations for the conference.
This year’s conference comes as countries around the world continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, with the expectation that foreign direct investment (FDIs) will fall by 40%, according to the United Nations World Investment Report 2020.
“For South Africa, we intend to take the opportunity of the investment conference to showcase new possibilities and opportunities in South Africa …
“We are in a global world where sentiment is very low, where many investors are pushing that break. We want to make sure that South Africa is conspicuous in terms of the opportunities available,” said Patel.
Two critical opportunities being exploited, Patel emphasized, are the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the economic recovery and recovery plan recently announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The AfCFTA agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world, measured by the number of participating countries. The treaty binds 1.3 billion people in 55 countries, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) worth R7 billion.
“The conference will be an opportunity to highlight this and to attract investors, because if you have a much larger market, you will no longer suffer from the scale. Small markets mean very little production and you only produce for small markets “And your cost structure is high – and that’s the advantage that Asian, European and North American producers have. They have these massive markets. So we are trying to repeat the scale to bring investors to the mainland,” said Patel. said.
Patel said the government had decided to hold the conference because it was critical to the country’s efforts to rebuild the economy.
“We have decided to continue, because even though these are difficult times, we are now moving towards economic recovery and reconstruction, and investment plays a critical role,” the minister said.
President Ramphosa officially opens the first day of the conference on November 17. Following the opening of the President, the conference will focus on sector-level discussion in the form of plenary.
Discussions are about opportunities in the agricultural value chain, energy constraints, manufacturing, digital economy, the rebuilding of small businesses and tourism markets, among others.
In light of the COVID-19 regulations, Makhaya said there will be a limited number of guests, with a large portion of the conference hosted by virtual platforms.
The first day of the event will be a purely virtual event, with the second day a hybrid format.
‘We expect attendance to drop by 90%, not because we are not successful this year, but because we want to comply with the COVID-19 regulations in force.
“The good thing about the virtual-physical hybrid is that we can accommodate a much wider global audience online. So far we have more than 1,000 delegates who have registered and we expect much more than that. The conference will also be run by the SABC. broadcast, ”she said.
Delegates can register for the conference at http://sainvestmentconference.co.za/.