Members of South Africa’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Advisory Board are participating in a week-long study tour in China to learn from the Chinese experience in the planning, development and management of SEZs.
The group will gain insight into the implementation and impact of the SEZ model in China, which will include lessons on SEZ infrastructure, funding, policy, sustainability, investment promotion strategies and SEZ management structures in all three spheres of government.
Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Bulelani Magwanishe says the study tour is one of several capacity-building programmes designed for the board, with the aim of equipping members with diverse and complex approaches to SEZ planning and development.
“One of the strategic initiatives that the government, through the Department of Trade and Industry, has earmarked for accelerating the country’s industrial development agenda is the SEZ Programme.
“The premise is that SEZs can provide the country with the necessary impetus for promoting industrial development, building the required industrial infrastructure, promoting coordinated planning among key government agencies and the private sector, and using the zones to guide the deployment of other necessary development tools,” he adds.
He explains that China’s SEZ model is the most appropriate for South Africa to learn from as the country has gone through radical economic development and has had to deal with similar development challenges that South Africa as a country is faced with, such as unemployment and poverty.