President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa was greatly encouraged by the number of Spanish companies investing in the country’s economy in various sectors.
Speaking at the SA-Spain Business Forum in Pretoria, following bilateral talks with his Spanish counterpart, President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, at the Union Buildings, the President said he appreciated great opportunity to meet business leaders from both countries.
He told the Spanish delegates that South Africa is open for business.
“We want to see higher levels of foreign direct investment by Spanish companies in South Africa. We also want to see more South African companies investing in Spain,” President Ramaphosa said.
The engagement between the South and Spain has been a valuable platform to improve the trade balance between the two countries.
“South Africa and the Kingdom of Spain enjoy well-established bilateral economic relations, which provide a solid platform for growth and expansion.
“South Africa is focused on increasing exports of value-added goods and services to Spain. In this regard, we are focusing on mining equipment and technology, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and food processing equipment.
“Spanish investments in South Africa are concentrated in the renewable energy, tourism, steel, automotive, water and agribusiness sectors. Companies like Acciona and GRI have made significant investments in the renewable energy sector,” said President Ramaphosa.
President Ramaphosa said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption in developed and developing economies.
“In response, South Africa has adopted an Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that prioritizes infrastructure spending, employment stimulation to create and sustain jobs, and measures to deepen local industrialization. .
“To support a rapid economic rebound, South Africa has prioritized interventions aimed at spurring industrial growth and expanding power generation capacity. These initiatives offer great opportunities for investors. We are increasing the local production to make South African exports more competitive,” the president said. said.
President Ramaphosa said sectoral master plans have been drawn up for key industries such as agriculture and agribusiness, renewable energy, automotive and steel.
He said that in 2018, South Africa set an ambitious target to attract 1.2 trillion rand, or about $100 billion in new investment over a five-year period.
“Through four South Africa Investment Conferences, the last in March this year, we have almost achieved our goal. We hope to see a strong performance from Spanish companies at the 5th South Africa Investment Conference. South next year.
“We are implementing a series of interventions to rapidly expand our power generation capacity. We are increasing the supply of renewable energy, increasing the use of gas and battery storage and removing regulatory restrictions on self-generation .
“We are greatly encouraged by the overwhelming response from the private sector, especially the mining sector, to generate its own electricity,” President Ramaphosa said.
Earlier on Thursday, President Ramaphosa welcomed the Spanish President to the Union buildings where they held talks followed by the signing of agreements.
South Africa is currently the 12th destination for Spanish exports and Spain is the 20th destination for South African exports.