The fractured state of the world is an opportunity for South Africa to exploit if it can show a compelling growth story.

This is according to Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who is in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF), as part of the South African delegation looking to showcase the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination and trade partner.

“For us, WEF and Davos is a very useful forum as it brings together global investors and policy-makers. We have 45 heads of state and government here, and it is an opportunity for South Africa to set out its stall and to see where are the growth opportunities and how we attract investment.”

“Fixed direct investment is the principle means by which you translate economic policy goals into reality,” he said. “When we do this, we compete with many other countries. Everyone comes and puts their storylines here and I’d start with the fact that we live in a much more complex world.”

Patel said: “Germany is still stuck four months after the election in political gridlock, with no government that has been formed, the United States is pursuing policies that seeks to decouple from the global economy, Brazil is mired in political crisis that is deep, they have an election this year and no way forward, and the most popular politician is currently in court on corruption charges.”

He added that Europe, as a whole, is struggling with globalisation because of the imigration of people which is an integral part of building a more integrated world. 

“We have sections of the electorate that want to have an a la carte approach, in that we don’t want those bits, we want the opportunity of our investment penetrating elsewhere, our goods being sent elsewhere, but we don’t want people flowing into our countries, so we are seeing a more fractious world.

“With that comes both an opportunity for South Africa if we can show a compelling growth story, an opportunity for investment that combines our national need with what investors are looking for. If we do that, we begin to achieve many of our goals.”

The WEF annual meeting takes place under the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

– African News Agency (ANA)