The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) has positioned Gauteng as the province that could work as the gateway for BRICS countries to expand market access, resulting in increased trade volumes, and elevated investment flows into South Africa.
Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola, said yesterday that Gauteng served as the epicentre of national transformation, modernisation, and re-industrialisation, and said that it embodied a concentrated hub of people and economic vitality.
Speaking at the Inward Buying and Investment Mission (Ibim) gathering, Majola said the several development corridors in Gauteng resulted in the province contributing an astounding 35% to the nation’s GDP.
“This mission holds the promise to unlock transformative opportunities by connecting with esteemed business delegates from the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and from our beloved African continent,” Majola said.
“As we navigate the Inward Buying and Investment Mission carefully curated programme, the immense potential of Gauteng shines through. The interactions between these influential business leaders and the heart of our nation’s economic activity will undoubtedly spark collaborations that extend beyond borders.”
Majola said Gauteng’s economic indicators collectively painted a vivid portrait of the province’s economic prowess, and it was this very potential that they were poised to harness and amplify through initiatives like the Ibim.
The mission is also aimed at making BRICS countries open their markets to South African products, especially those produced in townships, informal settlements and hostels.
“Through the Inward Buying and Investment Mission, we are not merely hosting high-level engagements, we are facilitating a dialogue that resonates with the heart of Gauteng’s aspirations. It’s an opportunity for the region to showcase its investment climate, diverse sectors, and innovative spirit,” he said.
“Just as Gauteng serves as the driving force behind South Africa’s national agenda, the Inward Buying and Investment Mission is a catalyst for forging lasting relationships, fostering economic growth, and contributing to the inclusive multilateralism championed by the BRICS formation.”
The IBIM Gauteng Business-to-Business Forum was convened collaboratively as part of the build up to the 15th BRICS Summit hosted by South Africa next week.
The Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) lauded the upcoming BRICS Summit as a significant opportunity to create jobs and boost tourism revenue for the province.
The GTA said that the business, tourism, trade and investment activities expected to take place over the duration of the summit will bring business to the business tourism-oriented wing of the sector.
“There is no doubt that many sectors will be positively impacted, from accommodation (to) transportation, food, security, logistics and hospitality establishments, with the majority of them already fully booked. We are excited by the prospects of our visitors and delegates immersing themselves in our food and culinary experiences,” the GTA said.
“All these people will be sleeping in the province, eating at the various venues and establishments, buying local products, interacting with our communities, and immersing themselves in our culture and way of life. These are the direct ripple effects of tourism and a growing visitor economy. It is more than just a conference or meeting room. It is social currency in action.”
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi emphasised the province’s need to migrate from mining and try something new as the country’s economic engine.
Lesufi announced plans to take advantage of the vast land in the West Rand to build a large solar farm, brought on by the need for alternative energy.
“We are a province that is migrating from something that led to the establishment of this province, which is called mining. We need to migrate and develop a new economy that can ensure that we survive,” Lesufi said.