Posted: March 25, 2019
the dti to host National Special Economic Zones Conference in KZN
|The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) will host the first National Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Investment Conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 3-4 April 2019. The theme of the conference isMoving Towards Excellence.
The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies, the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Mr Willies Mchunu, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala and the Mayor of eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality Councillor Zandile Gumede are scheduled to address the conference.
Over 500 delegates representing national, provincial and local government, State-Owned entities, SEZs, industry associations, industry experts and academics, international Investment communities and local businesses, multinational corporations, as well as ports and logistics operators will attend the conference.
According to Minister Davies, the aim of the conference is to provide the platform to engage the national multi stakeholder community which is working on or having an interest in SEZs. The conference will bring together high-level leaders from business and government to explore how to collectively shape our SEZ strategy in order to appropriately and significantly contribute towards building a globally competitive South African economy, characterized by inclusive growth and development, decent employment and equity, and built on the full potential of all citizens.
He adds that the conference will also be used as a platform to launch the South African SEZ Programme, where the department will outline the country’s achievements in attracting investments, generating exports and creating employment opportunities through SEZs, and their contribution in growing the economy of the country.
“The SEZ programme is one of the strategic and priority initiatives used by government to accelerate the country’s industrialization agenda, The SEZ programme is specifically used to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), develop industrial capabilities, promote industrial agglomeration, increased the value and the number of value-added exports and promote rapid beneficiation of the country’s natural resources through the development of the state of the art infrastructure and coordinated planning across spheres of government”, says Davies.
MEC Zikalala added that the conference will contribute significantly in promoting and validating the South African SEZ value-proposition.
“For South Africa to have vibrant SEZs and competitive regional economies, it is necessary to engage in regular dialogues among key stakeholders such as this national conference. The SEZ Programme was specifically developed to promote the creation of a regionally diversified industrial economy by establishing new industrial hubs in underdeveloped regions of our country,” says Zikalala.
He adds that it is therefore imperative to bring together representatives of all spheres of government, the SEZs, relevant agencies and international experts and academia in a national multi stakeholder platform to share ideas, expertise, knowledge and information on progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of the SEZ Programme in achieving government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation.
Issued by the Department of Trade and Industry, and KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs