17 January 2014
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos provides an excellent platform to network and market South Africa to potential investors, President Jacob Zuma told a delegation of business people on Thursday ahead of their departure for Switzerland.
“Each year, we do all we can as South Africa to put our best foot forward and present our country to the world,” Zuma said at a sending-off event in Johannesburg, adding: “South Africa is easy to sell. Our country is successful, with lots of potential.
“Although some challenges still remain given our history, these are being attended to,” Zuma said. “We remain a nation at work for a better life, striving each day to do better. Our founding president, Tata Nelson Mandela, and the first democratic administration laid a firm foundation, and we continue to build on that foundation to take the country forward.”
Zuma said that while South Africa’s economy had taken a knock after the 2008 global meltdown, shedding a million jobs by the time the recession peaked in 2009, the country had recovered well and created many jobs.
He said he National Development Plan (NDP), the country’s policy framework for reducing unemployment, inequality and poverty by 2030, identified the main drivers for economic growth: agriculture, mining, tourism, the green economy, manufacturing and infrastructure development.
“As you engage the world, you will be able to say: We know exactly where we want to be by 2030 and we are working very hard to get there as South Africans. We are busy factoring the NDP into the draft Medium Term Strategic Framework that will be discussed by the Cabinet that will be appointed after elections in its first lekgotla.
“In a few months, the plan will have been mainstreamed in the work of every government department,” Zuma said, adding: “We do trust that the private sector will also factor the NDP into its own strategic plans in every company so that we move seamlessly together.”
The 44th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum takes place from 22 to 25 January.