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Cape Town - Wesgro announced that their Agri-business Investment Unit (AIU) has secured committed investments into the Western Cape amounting to R150 million over four months and these said investments are expected to create over 500 jobs in the agri-business sector.

The AIU, which is supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has over the last three years secured investments in the province that amounts to R1.56 billion.

Their core aim is to promote economic growth and job creation in the agri-business sector and they plan to do this through attracting inbound foreign direct investment and facilitating the growth and expansion of already established businesses.

MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “These latest investment numbers highlight the progress of our Project Khulisa growth strategy, through which we have selected agri-processing as a key focus sector for accelerated growth and job creation. We set ourselves the target of creating up to 100 000 additional jobs in this sector, and it is clear we are on the right track. This is excellent news for our economy, and speaks to the confidence businesses have in our province.”

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “This tremendous result demonstrates that there is confidence in the Western Cape economy, and that through showcasing the best the region has to offer, we can continue to attract investors and create jobs.”

Read also: Czech company invests R1.3bn in Western Cape

Wesgro’s Chief Business Officer, Yaw Peprah said: “Our Agri-business Investment Unit is committed to exceeding our targets so that we can contribute to the growth of the agri-business sector. In quarter 1 of the 2017/18 financial year, it took 52 meetings with corporate entities and attended nine conferences/sector events. It also received one inward bound mission from Vietnam, focussing on suppliers of ostrich meat and nuts.”

However, on the back of these positive results, Wesgro will also be doubling down on opportunities in the sector.

“Over the next few months, the AIU is planning to raise the profile of the Western Cape as an agribusiness investment destination through undertaking outward investment promotion missions to China, the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In addition, the AIU is looking forward to supporting the African Agri Investment Indaba, which will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 20 - 22 November. The unit also expects to host a range of inbound investor delegations from across the globe,” Peprah added.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE