The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe says the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) proved to be a successful platform to drive and promote Africa’s economic growth. Magwanishe was representing government at the SPIEF held in St Petersburg from 1-3 June 2017, Moscow.
According to Deputy Minister Magwanishe, the talks and engagements with government officials and businesspeople at SPIEF were a great marketing tool for Africa’s integration, as well as the infrastructure and skills development plans.
“The engagements also focused on accelerating some of the projects identified in our joint efforts with fellow BRICS members to gather impetus and be implemented. In-roads were also made in creating new markets for agro-processing and mining sectors, especially for emerging exporters and entrepreneurs for the East Asian markets,” says Magwanishe
He adds that as government, it was important to educate potential investors and businesspeople about the African agenda and the economic activities of the continent.
“Certain countries still do not know much about Africa’s economic activities and projects. The continent needs to do a lot of marketing to show its potential and focus on helping the facets of our economic activities like Russia and China do.” he said.
Magwanishe points out that Africa should also move in the direction of creating platforms such as SPIEF in order to capitalise on some of the largest untapped reserves of minerals, oil and gas. He says these platforms draw the attention of the most important economic players to the opportunities of a particular country and its potential. The value of SPIEF is evidenced by the signing $35 billion worth of deals during the forum.
He adds that the South African government will always advocate for continental development, market integration, regional industrialisation, infrastructure development and investments.
SPIEF is an annual international conference dedicated to economic and business issues facing Russia, Africa and BRICS, held with the direct support of the President of the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Putin.
The St Petersburg International Economic Forum attracts international participants, including government and business leaders from the emerging economic powers, as well as leading global voices from academia.
Issued by Department of Trade and Industry