Brand South Africa has begun consultations with foreign investors and diplomats as part of preparations for the investment conference, which President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene later this year.
Ramaphosa has set a target of attracting $100-billion-worth of direct investment over the coming five years as part of efforts to reignite and stimulate job creation.
The National Development Plan has a target of increasing fixed investment to at least 30% of gross domestic product by 2030, from around 19% currently.
Brand South Africa GM for research Dr Petrus de Kock says the consultations are designed to gather insight from foreign businesspeople and diplomats as to their experience of doing business in South Africa, as well as what improvements could be made to bolster South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination.
Speaking to Engineering News Online following consultations in Johannesburg with stakeholders from the European Union, De Kock said the feedback would be shared with The Presidency ahead of the summit, which is expected to be held in August or September.
Engagements and interviews will also take place with other countries and regions, including with those business representatives from Brazil, Russia, India and China, who will accompany their leaders as part of the upcoming BRICS Summit, which will be held in Johannesburg from July 25 to 27.
However, some key themes and concerns have already started to emerge, including: South Africa’s backlog in certifying foreign electronic goods; ongoing delays in processing business visas; and inconsistencies in the treatment of investors at national and provincial InvestSA offices.
De Kock says that business people and diplomats are also concerned about direction that land reform could take and have made an appeal for clearer communication of the matter. However, there has also been some positive feedback regarding South Africa’s roll-out of special economic zones.
“Our aim is to understand the perceived strengths and the factors that appeal to investors, as well as the challenges that need to be addressed to achieve the President’s goal of attracting $100-billion of investment in the next five years.”