REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR MALEFANE ON THE OCCASION OF SECTORAL MEETING ORGANISED BY THE HHB FAIR IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANKARA CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2018
Chairperson of Ankara Chamber of Industry, Mr Nuretin Ozdemir
President of the Turkish industrialist and Business Foundation, Mr Veli Sarito Prak
The Executive Management of HHB Fair
The Turkish and the African business delegation present
Ladies and gentlemen
I wish to convey my special appreciation for being invited to address this forum today. Almost suspending your other commitments to focus on this occasion is a noble indication that illustrates your seriousness in enhancing trade and investment with African countries. I have no doubt that this occasion will succeed in stimulating the existing potential needed in increasing economic relations between African countries and Turkey. We are proud of Turkey’s interest in working with Africa through its 15 year history as per its Africa Initiative Policy which has yielded trade of over $17 billion. It is through this policy that we have seen improved economic and political relations between Turkey and Africa.
I stand before you not claiming to be the Ambassador of Africa to Turkey but the South African Ambassador, given that Africa is a continent with 54 countries and South Africa is one of them. Therefore I humbly seek to provide you with an overview of the South African investment opportunities. The information I seek to provide will inform on how best you can make use of the available laws, policies and incentives to access the South African Market in your pursuit for maximum profit generation through the exchange of needed goods and services. Of course we are a gateway to the continent and it is within our foreign policy to promote the African Agenda as outlined by the AU Agenda 2063 which is the vision of the continent.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Many people are not aware that Africa is actually a very rich continent, endowed with a variety of resources. Most of the world’s raw materials and unprocessed commodities come from Africa. This however, does not indicate that Africa has no ability to process these resources. The Continent needs correct, specialised and targeted investments in order to adequately respond to manufacturing and production challenges. The biggest challenge facing us as nations is ignorance and let us remember the wise words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he said, “The biggest war is the war against ignorance”, and thanks to HHB Fair and the Ankara Chamber of Industry for providing this platform to fight ignorance so that we can share information that will strengthen of relationship.
Since South Africa is part of the African Continent, it then goes without saying that the country’s natural resources reflect the abundance seen elsewhere in Africa. South Africa provides investors with unprecedented opportunities and possibilities in almost all sectors of the economy.
South Africa is equally well positioned to become an integral part of the global trading system. Through one of the African Union’s five Regional Economic Communities, SADC, South Africa provides access to fourteen countries through its advanced transportation and communication infrastructure.
Ladies and gentlemen allow me to give you a panoramic view of the South African economy and its relations to that of Turkey.
Our trade relations with Turkey is underpinned by a Joint Economic Commission which took place last year 2018 in Johannesburg, wherein our Minister of Trade and Industry Mr Rob Davies and Minister Yilmaz committed to improving trade between Turkey and South Africa. Surpassing the $1.4bn trade balance is in an actual fact possible provided we continue to work together as partners.
Secondly, on the margins of the BRICS Summit that took place in Johannesburg our Presidents also indicated a need for South Africa and Turkey to exhaust all the means to increase trade and investment.
We have one of the strongest mining and agricultural sectors. Our energy and manufacturing sectors are also growing fast, thanks to the fiscal discipline and sound monetary policy. Various structures inclusive of labour, government and business and the strong judicial system are capable of safeguarding your investments.
Your investment will not end up as a corporate transaction. Your investment wills ad a long term value to the people of South Africa. Our challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty can best be addressed by your Foreign Direct investment.
Ladies and Gentleman
Our access to the oceans on three sides puts SA in an advantageous stead for oceans economy. Our sophisticated road, rail and air transport system will make it easy your market access from Cape to Cairo. Therefore, South Africa is ready to welcome you and South Africa will be a gateway to Africa for a long time. Thank you for your time and let us fructify the outcomes of this platform to give impetus to the hard work put in organising this platform.