Department of Trade and Industry
23 July 2019
Government is committed to working in close partnership with the private sector to attain South Africa’s national goals.
The trade and industry minister, Ebrahim Patel, confirmed this during a recent interactive session hosted by Business Leadership South Africa in Johannesburg.
The meeting provided an opportunity for business and government to discuss opportunities to reinvigorate the South African economy and increase levels of fixed investment and job creation.
“As government, we recognise the critical role that business, both big and small, plays in growing the economy of this country and creating job opportunities. The new administration has placed an even stronger emphasis on the partnerships between business and labour, and between government and its social partners. We need to get these partnerships working better to ensure that the economy grows and to deal with various challenges that affect the economy,” said Patel.
The minister highlighted six focus areas that the trade, industry and competition department will be prioritising over the next five years.
“These are improving the industrial competitiveness and performance, expanding markets for the country’s products, increasing levels of investment, promoting greater levels of economic inclusion, initiating equitable spatial and industrial development, and increasing the capabilities of the state.”
Referring to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the minister described it as a game changer that will fundamentally transform South African industry.
“The AfCFTA, which comes into effect in July next year with tariff-free trade in 90% of goods, represents an enormous opportunity for industrial expansion but it also carry big risks too,” he said.
South Africa needs to take action now to ensure that the industrial sector is ready for the free trade area.