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BLSA calls on private sector to take advantage of Brics investment opportunities

Jul 26 2018 17:09

Business Leadership South Africa has called on the SA private sector to help build on the Brics Summit by taking advantage of the investment opportunities presented.

The call followed an announcement of $14.7bn (R193bn) worth of investments by China ahead of the summit and complements pledges of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, BLSA said, which equate to about 12% of SA's GDP.

"The investment announcement was a timely boost ahead of such an important gathering. We would like to see the local private sector match these efforts and help unlock the opportunities presented by these investments," said BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale.

In recent months, BLSA has been working with presidential special envoys to help drive the project to recruit $100bn in foreign direct investment and another $100bn made up of domestic direct investment.

"Our board remains committed to ensuring that local business matches – rand-for-rand – the FDI target. We are confident this is achievable.

"Already, one of our members – Sappi – has just announced R7.5bn over the next five years," said Mohale.

Another BLSA member, Old Mutual, helped generate R10bn investment inflows with its recent relisting on the JSE, said BLSA.

Mohale said South Africa’s relationship with Brics countries now needed to mature to allow the country to export an increasing proportion of value-added goods to these countries and address the trade and investment deficit between them, most notably with China.

"BLSA appreciates Brics' position as an important alternative structure to help South Africa advance its economic goals, and the country needs to aggressively take advantage of infrastructure funding opportunities offered by the New Development Bank, commonly referred to as the Brics Bank," Mohale added.

Earlier on Thursday, ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile on Thursday invited private investors to take up equity stakes in state-owned companies.

Parastatals were the "engine driving the economy", he said.

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blsa  |  sappi  |  old mutual  |  brics2018  |  bonang mohale  |  brics summit  |  brics
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