Media statement issued by the Office of the Premier
Premier Helen Zille will lead a delegation to Singapore and Japan to bolster trade and investment between the region and the Western Cape.
Premier Zille will be in Singapore from 9-11 March and Japan from 12-15 March.
A key focus of the visit will be to strengthen tourism, trade and investment relations. To this end, Premier Zille will host a business seminar in Singapore on 10 March 2017 and 13 March 2017 in Tokyo to share information about opportunities in the Western Cape.
Singapore is one of the key investment destinations globally, with numerous multinational companies based there. Since independence in 1965, Singapore has also transformed itself from a small country with limited resources to one with a pro-business, pro-foreign investment, export-orientated economy.
This approach resulted in an average economic growth rate of 8% from 1965 to 2010. The visit presents Premier Zille and the delegation with an opportunity not only to attract Singapore investments to the Western Cape, but also to learn from Singapore regarding their efforts in trade and investment promotion.
One of the Western Cape government’s key objectives for the agri-processing industry is to become a major player in the global Halaal market.
Our Halaal issuing authorities are well accepted in Singapore, where no additional local work on Halaal certification is required. Singapore has excellent access to the broader Asia region, where their Halaal certification is widely accepted (including countries such as Indonesia). It is hoped that access to Singapore will open opportunities for further trade with neighbouring countries, since they hold processed products coming through Singapore in high regard.
During the visit, Premier Zille will also engage stakeholders in the basic education sector to learn best practice on career guidance for possible application in the Apprenticeship Game Changer and After School Game Changer.
Japan is South Africa’s third largest trade partner. Japan is a major provider of development finance and official development assistance (ODA) to South Africa and Africa. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a development agency of the Government of Japan, is also the second largest global Development Finance Agency.
Premier Zille will engage JICA about the possibility of assisting with development of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) System to support the Apprenticeship Game Changer. In addition to support for RPL, JICA also currently offers Maths support by appointing and funding volunteers from Japan as Maths tutors in various parts of the world (including, Limpopo and Mpumalanga in SA). The Western Cape will also engage JICA on Maths Assistance in the Western Cape Province.
Over one hundred Japanese companies with investments in South Africa provide skills development, training and advancement to their South African employees (South African nationals) and contribute to the transfer of technologies. South Africa is Japan’s largest trade partner on the African continent. Premier Zille will have an opportunity to engage with some Companies that have invested in Cape Town and further address high- level business stakeholders on the investment opportunities available in the Province.
During the business seminars in Japan and Singapore, Premier Zille will address potential investors around sensitive but real issues such as security, good governance and economic stability. She will highlight the Western Cape’s robust education sector, variety of investment opportunities, scenic beauty and availability of resources as unique offerings for South Africa and the Western Cape.