South Africa’s dti Partners with World Bank Group to Drive Private Sector Competitiveness and Investment

Johannesburg, South Africa, March 11, 2019 – South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry and the World Bank Group today announced an advisory services partnership aimed at improving the business environment for domestic entrepreneurs and undertaking policy and institutional reform to enhance foreign direct investment inflows. The partnership will focus on three key reform areas: business regulation, investment policy and promotion, and market regulation and competition policy.

The advisory agreement formalizes the partnership between the Government of South Africa and the World Bank Group to support the national reform effort led by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Economic Development and National Treasury. World Bank Group support to the Government of South Africa will be delivered in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Prosperity Fund of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The project will deploy a Country Private Sector Diagnostic, a standard World Bank Group tool to identify industry sectors which can attract significant domestic and foreign investments and deliver positive development impacts in the near term, if key inhibitors are addressed.

“Support from World Bank Group and its development partners promotes South Africa’s growth agenda. the dti and InvestSA hope to gain insights into best practice from the partnership. I would like to assure you that we are committed to addressing the employment deficits that we face, and this will start with providing the right environment for the private sector to flourish. The four-year programme will be led and coordinated by InvestSA,” said Lionel October, Director General, the dti.

Commitment to the national reform programme was articulated at the highest level within government structures. President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address on Thursday, February 7, 2019, committed to ensure business competitiveness and an enabling business environment as a cornerstone of the drive for both domestic and foreign direct investment and the jobs that they are expected to generate. To this end, the South African government has, amongst others, set the target of improving its current rank of 82/190 in order to be, within three years, among the top 50 economies in the annual Doing Business Report published by the World Bank Group.

“IFC is committed to working across the World Bank Group to help South Africa achieve best practices and real impact in its reform efforts. The target set by President Ramaphosa of generating investment of $100 billion within five years is important. It sets the tone for the policies needed to attract foreign direct investment.,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa.

Early deliverables under the support program will be inputs into the Government of South Africa’s Investment strategy, which is expected to address not just horizontal barriers to private sector investment but also sector specific enablers for growth and employment creation.

“The UK is the largest investor in South Africa, but we’re determined to build on that here and elsewhere in Africa. Our Prime Minister set an ambition to make the UK the No. 1 G7 investor in Africa by 2022. We also strongly support President Ramaphosa’s ambition to attract an additional $100 billion of investment into South Africa. Today’s announcement is part of how we are going to support the Government’s ambitions and deliver on our own ambition about the role that UK investors should play. We intend, to this end, to make use of the UK’s R900m Prosperity Fund in South Africa.” said Nigel Casey, British High Commissioner to South Africa.

“South Africa is one of the priority countries for Switzerland’s economic cooperation and development on the continent. We wish to contribute in a meaningful way to South Africa’s development and competitiveness and believe that this program will lead to much needed job creation and at the same time reduce poverty and inequalities. It’s my government’s hope that this partnership will unlock the phenomenal economic potential of Africa’s biggest and most diverse economy,” said Helene Budliger Artieda, Ambassador of Switzerland.

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About the dti

The mission of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) is to promote structural transformation, towards a dynamic industrial and globally competitive economy; provide a predictable, competitive, equitable and socially responsible environment, conducive to investment, trade and enterprise development; broaden participation in the economy to strengthen economic development; and continually improve the skills and capabilities of the dti to effectively deliver on its mandate and respond to the needs of South Africa’s economic citizens. For more information, visit

About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, IFC delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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About SECO

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is the federal government`s centre of excellence for all core issues relating to economic and labour market policy. It is our aim to contribute to sustained economic growth, high employment and fair working conditions, by creating the necessary regulatory, economic and foreign policy framework. For more information: please visit

About Prosperity Fund

The Prosperity Fund (PF) is a UK Government initiative to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth leading to poverty reduction in developing countries. The PF has programmes operating in ten countries including South Africa. During their meeting at 10 Downing Street on 17 April 2018, the Prime Minister and President Ramaphosa agreed Prosperity Fund programming worth £50m over the next four years, which would help create conditions for the job creation necessary to lift people out of poverty. This commitment was reaffirmed during the Prime Minister’s visit to South Africa last year. This reflects a vote of confidence in Ramaphosa’s growth agenda, and his international drive to attract $100bn in new investment, which the UK Government will support through a portfolio of global Prosperity Fund programmes delivered to support South Africa inclusively develop its business environment and economy. For more information, visit

About InvestSA, a division of the dti

InvestSA, is a division of the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). InvestSA supports investors exploring opportunities in South Africa by helping with information, facilitation and aftercare. It’s One Stop Shops provide practical assistance to streamline the process of setting up a business.

Invest SA’s objective is to facilitate the increase in the quality and quantity of foreign and domestic direct investment by providing an investment recruitment, problem-solving and information service to retain and expand investment in South Africa and into Africa. As well as to actively market, promote and facilitate investment in key high-yielding growth sectors of the South African economy.


Left to Right- IFC Director, Southern Africa and Nigeria, Mr Kevin Njiraini and Director-General of the dti, Mr Lionel October at the signing of the Advisory Partnership today

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