Ramaphosa on charm offensive to reach out to Japanese investors | Fin24

Ramaphosa on charm offensive to reach out to Japanese investors

May 04 2018 19:34
Khulekani Magubane

Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa went on a charm offensive at a Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum in Johannesburg on Thursday, saying South Africa and the African continent need investment from developed economies to fully exploit their opportunities.

The forum comes as part of Ramaphosa’s ongoing engagements with leaders from various parts of the world since becoming president in February.

Ramaphosa and his dream team of economic minds have made clear their intention to draw R1trn in funding from partners globally.

He told delegates that government would bring policy certainty and will introduce a Mining Charter "soon", among other matters.

In April Ramaphosa visited Great Britain, where he met with Prime Minister Theresa May. She committed R857m in investment to help South Africa improve its business environment so that the country would be better placed to attract investment.

Ramaphosa said the African continent is home to more developing economies than any other, and that by 2030 it will have the youngest population on earth.

However, he said if education and employment continue to lag, this would be a risk rather than an opportunity.

“This opportunity will only be realised if enough jobs are created. This requires a fundamental change in approaches to job creation and skills development and a renewed focus on the continent’s economic capacity,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa told delegates that South Africa would pursue a mutually beneficial deal when working with Japan and other economies.

“Africa’s exports to Asia as whole were worth around $64bn, of which Japan accounted for around $8.3bn. However, the current basket of exports is very much commodity-based, exposing African countries to price fluctuations and denying them the opportunity to extract additional value from these commodities,” he said.

He said in line with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development’s pledge of $30bn in investment for 2016 to 2019, Japanese companies need to scale up and accelerate investment in Africa.

“The increase in digitisation and use of cutting edge technology and innovation are critical factors for Africa to ensure it takes advantage of the fourth industrial revolution,” he said. 

“As a country, we have realised that we will not be able to grow our own economy and reduce unemployment and inequality without a massive increase in both domestic and foreign direct investment,” he added.

cyril ramaphosa  |  japan  |  investment  |  sa economy


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