The Department of Trade and Industry (dti)
has for the past 20 years been at the forefront of making it easy for South Africa to open its trade borders and take trade to the rest of the world.
Back in the early 90s and the mid-90s, South Africa was a small player in world trade. “What has happened since 1994 is that we’ve seen a diversification of our trade relations.
“We didn’t even have diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, let alone trade relations, but now China is our biggest trading partner for both exports and imports,”
says Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies. He believes that South Africa should take advantage of the solid foundation laid
by the fourth administration to turn the country’s economy into a major global player.
Minister Davies is one of the ministers who returned to the portfolio that he occupied in the previous administration.
He says this gives him and his team a chance to consolidate on the work they’ve already done.
“Coming back to this portfolio gives us a chance to continue the work that we did in the previous administration.
“We launched the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) as our three year plan and we started those in the first year of the last administration.”
The dti is the lead department in implementing the IPAP and Minister Davies says it, with the help of all government departments,
should play a role in ensuring that the policy action plan is implemented successfully.
Infiltrating the Southern African Development Community (SADC) market, turning the South African film industry into the new Nollywood
(Nigerian film industry), building relations between agencies of department and improving South Africa’s role in the global market are some of the major achievements scored by South Africa in recent years.
Taking South African products to the SADC region The past 10 years have been characterised by an influx of various countries into Africa to trade with the continent.
“The perception of Africa is changing dramatically because Africa has been growing quite fast.
Investors are also recognising the continent’s ambition.”
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