President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany where he attended the G20 Investment Summit. FILE PHOTO: Phando Jikelo/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany where he attended the G20 Investment Summit, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

"The visit reinforced cooperation between the governments of South Africa and Germany on bilateral and global issues and underscored the critical importance of German investment to South Africa’s efforts to stimulate sustainable and inclusive economic growth as a means to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality," said a statement released by Khusela Diko, the spokesperson to the president.

On Tuesday Ramaphosa addressed the G20 Investment Summit in Berlin in his capacity as Co-chair of the G20-Africa Advisory Group. 

The summit was attended by heads of state and government of Compact with Africa countries as well as German business leaders who affirmed Africa as an attractive destination and partner for trade, investment and the transfer of skills and technology.

The G20 Compact with Africa conference reviewed progress made since the 2017 Hamburg Summit and leaders exchanged views on building on the partnership geared towards the promotion of investment in Africa.

Earlier on the same day, Ramaphosa had a business breakfast with German corporate leaders, trade financiers and investment promotion agencies who were hosted by Prof Heinz-Walter Grobe, Chairman of the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business.

German business leaders briefed him on their experiences in South Africa, including some of the challenges of doing business.

"The president emphasised the government’s commitment to listen to the needs and concerns of investors and to address these as a matter of priority," said the statement.

Ramaphosa said German companies were among those committed partners who were accompanying South Africa on its journey of renewal after several years of poor economic performance. There are about 600 German companies in South Africa, employing more than 100,000 South Africans.

The president assured German investors that government was leading an effort to energise South Africans to work in unison to end corruption and achieve sustainable, inclusive growth.

Ramaphosa also had a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in which he expressed South Africa’s appreciation for Germany’s ongoing bilateral assistance in critical development areas like health and skills development.

The two leaders reflected on measures taken by South Africa to improve the investment environment, including addressing policy uncertainty.

Ramaphosa also noted that several German companies had made investment announcements during the recent South Africa Investment Conference and that German companies played a significant role in developing skills and building capacity in South Africa.

They agreed that bilateral relations would be strengthened through the Binational Commission which will be convened early next year.

Ramaphosa and Chancellor Merkel also agreed on intensified cooperation in the United Nations Security Council during the two countries’ respective UNSC terms in 2019-2020.

"South Africa and Germany are committed to working together to ensure that the Security Council contributes meaningfully to resolving important questions on international peace and security. This is of particular importance to Africa, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of the Security Council agenda," said the statement.

"The president and the chancellor also agreed on the importance of continuing with the G20 Compact with Africa initiative and committed to an expansion of trade and investment between South Africa and Germany."

 African News Agency (ANA)