Team SA optimistic ahead of WEF Davos

Team South Africa is heading to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in an upbeat mood. Believing that the political and economic climate is taking a turn for the better, delegates are heading to the Swiss town with the message that South Africa is an ideal partner for growth.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading a hopeful Team SA to Davos for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. He believes South Africa is renewing itself and is set for a year of growth. (Images: GCIS)

Shamin Chibba

Members of Team South Africa heading to the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week are feeling optimistic about the country’s fortunes for the coming year.

At a pre-WEF breakfast held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on 18 January, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is leading the delegation to Davos, assured everyone that South Africa had a better story to tell at the global event. “South Africa is renewing itself and is underpinned by unity in everything we do. We are looking forward to a great year. A year of unity and growth.”

He added: “It is going to be a mammoth task getting us out of this trench as a country, but if we work together it is possible.”

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was equally confident about Team South Africa’s trip to the Alpine town, saying the team would highlight the investment potential of both South Africa and the continent.

“The Davos platform is critical for South Africa, not only to profile South Africa but to also showcase our continent as a whole. We provide a platform for many international investors to access the African market. There should not be any doubt that South Africa is open for business.”

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, at the Pre-WEF Davos Breakfast. The latter believes it is critical to use WEF Davos as a platform to showcase Africa’s economic potential.

Business Unity South Africa CEO Tanya Cohen noted that the political uncertainty experienced last year had resulted in a directionless economic policy. She said there was greater certainty for the near future, which would make a difference to the investment climate.

“If one looks at some of the issues we have been challenged with, [for instance] our whole energy framework, it has not been settled. In fact, last year it was bouncing back and forward. We now have the opportunity to move that forward in a coherent direction,” Cohen said.

“With the new leadership in place, there is an opportunity for us to really create an environment in which businesses feel safe to invest and unlock the potential of the country.”

Business Leadership SA CEO Bonang Mohale said South Africa had an “amazingly good story to tell”.

“There is no other country that presents a return on investment like South Africa. We [might be] below investment grade but we are hopeful. That is the message we will be taking to Davos.”

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