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Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Invest in Africa, Zuma tells businesses
Nigerian Industry, Trade and Investments Minister
Olusegun Aganga, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan,
South African President
Jacob Zuma and Trade and Industry
Minister Rob Davies at the Nigeria-South
Business Forum, Cape Town, 7 May 2013(Photo: GCIS)
President Jacob Zuma, addressing the South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum in
Cape Town on Tuesday, encouraged South African companies to do more business in
Nigeria and on the continent.
Zuma told the high-profile gathering of South African and Nigerian government
and business leaders that the government had put a number of measures in place
to support outward investments by local companies, including the relaxation of
cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements.
Noting that similar measures applied to foreign companies wanting to invest
in African countries using South Africa as their base, Zuma said the South
African Reserve Bank had over the last few years approved nearly a thousand
"large investments" into 36 African countries.
Tuesday's forum, hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry, coincided
with the state visit of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, and also preceded
Wednesday's opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town.
Earlier on Tuesday, Jonathan and Zuma held talks in Cape Town, after which
Nigeria and South Africa signed a raft of cooperation agreements.
Jonathan, also addressing the business forum, said it was imperative for
Africa's two biggest economies to work together for the advancement of the
Zuma echoed this, saying South Africa and Nigeria needed "to work together
and complement each other, to push an African agenda which puts regional
economic integration, economic and infrastructural development at the forefront.
"Already, the economic linkages are encouraging," Zuma said, with over 100
South African companies currently doing business in Nigeria, and a number of
Nigerian companies having shown "keen interest" in investing in South Africa.
The two countries set up a bi-national commission in 1999, at the same time
signing a bilateral trade agreement and a promotion and protection of investment
Zuma told the forum that Jonathan's visit, and the World Economic Forum on
Africa meeting, both came at a time when the outlook for the continent was
"Over the last decade, six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies were
in Africa," Zuma said, and sub-Saharan Africa, with an expected annual growth of
five percent, was projected to continue its move from a developing region to a
hub of global growth.
The process of establishing a continental free trade area - bringing together
the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African
Development Community and the East African Community - "should encourage the
business sector to look even more favourably within the continent for
investments", Zuma said.
"This will be Africa's biggest free trade bloc, with a single continent-wide
market estimated to be worth a trillion US dollars. The 26 African countries
involved have an aggregate GDP of $860-billion and a combined population of 600
South Africa and Nigeria had to ensure that their economic success
"contributes visibly to the ultimate goal of a successful and prosperous
continent," Zuma said.
"As the business community in the two countries, you have our full support.
We urge you to invest in the continent, and more directly, in South Africa and
Nigeria, and boost African growth and development while obtaining returns on