Today, Brand South Africa and the South African Consulate in Hong Kong, hosted a business breakfast to enhance the country’s Nation Brand reputation through positioning South Africa as an attractive investment destination.
Coinciding with the anniversary of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “new dawn,” and renewal of business and investor confidence in South Africa, the business breakfast presented an opportunity to follow up on the resounding success of the inaugural SA Investment Conference that was held in October last year.
Hosted under the theme ‘growing bilateral trade and investment relations between South Africa and Hong Kong’, the session aimed to contribute towards delivering impactful investment country messaging to the high-level business audience.
Brand South Africa’s Marketing Manager, Mr Tshepiso Malele said: “Through the enthusiastic support of the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) in Hong Kong, the collaborative engagement enabled Brand South Africa to interact with a sizable number of Hong Kong’s prominent business people who are members of the chamber.”
Speaking at the event, CGCC Chairman, Dr. Jonathan Choi, emphasised the important role South Africa plays in facilitating Sino-African relations. With its ideal location in fast-growing Asia and riding on the opportunities brought by the Mainland economy, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has developed into an international business, trade and financial hub. Hong Kong is also a renowned tourist city, providing high value-added and knowledge-intensive services to the globalised world. Hong Kong serves as the gateway to the Mainland for overseas investors as well as a platform for Mainland enterprises to go global. Though it has a modest population size of just over 7.4 million, Hong Kong boasts a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 341 billion and is an important financial centre in the region.
The platform was an opportunity for South Africa to enhance its stakeholder network in China, provide feedback on the SA Investment Conference and to profile South Africa as an attractive investment and trade partner of choice. Founder and CEO of Hong Kong based Acorus Capital, Ms. Maxine Barnett, who was a delegate at the South African Investment Conference, said: “There is a strong breeze in South Africa. There is a new wind in the sails. The private sector in South Africa is backing the country… there has never been a better time to consider investing in South Africa.”
The confidence in South Africa’s investment potential was echoed by Mr. Mike Blades, CEO of Standard Advisory Asia (which is part of the Standard Bank Group), who highlighted some of the country’s most compelling economic attributes. He commended South Africa’s competitive strengths such as the independent judiciary – an important contributor towards investor protection – as well as the government’s firm stance in rooting out corruption. “Hong Kong will be pivotal in leading investment into South Africa,” he said.
South Africa’s Consul-General to Hong Kong, Mr Madoda Ntshinga said: “The growing people to people connections that is taking place between China and Africa, continues to help, build the bridge of human understanding, within the framework of solidarity. We have in the recent past seen an increase in collaboration, cultural exchanges, science and technology cooperation and innovation, as central pillars of development, within the China Africa relationship. Consequently, there is growing consensus, that development of these areas is needed in promoting greater industrialisation, beneficiation and economic development, on a large scale.”
“The South African Consulate in Hong continues to work to increase the export of South African agricultural products by improving market access for South African agricultural products in Hong Kong. South African exports including products from the Agro-processing sector such as seafood, meat, wine, fresh fruit and vegetables have strong possibilities for growth.
“Hong Kong is a major international financial centre and continues to leverage the combined advantages of ‘one country’ and ‘two systems’. Bilateral trade between Hong Kong and South Africa continue to grow. We are certain that in the coming months we will continue to see more and more Hong Kong companies investing and doing business in South Africa,” concluded Mr Ntshinga.