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10 Mar 2003 08:13
South Africa needed to market itself and its successes more effectively to attract foreign investment, according to President Thabo Mbeki’s International Investment Council (IIC).
The council comprising senior executives of some of the world’s top corporations met at a luxury resort in Kleinmond in the Western Cape at the weekend.
Government representative Joel Netshitenzhe said the focus was on how South Africa could further increase economic growth and job creation. “The international participants indicated that over the past three years, government had addressed many of the issues raised by council members at previous meetings.
“Issues like fiscal and monetary policy, crime prevention, HIV/Aids and land reform were now being effectively dealt with,” he said in a statement.
Council members had stressed that although growth was above the world average, it needed to be raised to higher levels.
They agreed that South Africa now had the capacity to grow and create new jobs at a significantly higher level, Netshitenzhe said.
“Council members also indicated that South Africa needed to market its successes and advantages more effectively.
“In the current environment, where economic growth worldwide had slowed and competition, especially from Asia, was very tough, South Africa needed to intensify its marketing campaign.” After previous advice that South Africa needed to improve its marketing campaign, Mbeki established the International Marketing Council.
In his reaction, trade and industry minister Alec Erwin said the IIC was “an extremely useful forum” to allow the government to gauge the reception that South Africa’s economic performance was getting internationally.
South Africa’s monetary, fiscal and macro-economic policies were well received as well as the country’s capacity to export and to produce sophisticated manufactured products, he told public radio.
However, it was felt that South Africa needed to improve efficiency levels and make it easier for businesses to start up.
“There should not be so much red tape and there needs to be more investment in infrastructure,” Erwin said.
The looming war in Iraq and the implications for the world and South African economy were also discussed.
and Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad.
International participants included Masaki Miyaji of Mitsubishi, Anne Lauvergeon of Arena, Jurgen Schremp of Daimler Chrysler, Ratan Tata of Tata Sons and Martin Kohlaussen of Commerz Bank. - Sapa
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