EThekwini municipality launches a foreign direct investment strategy

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The eThekwini municipality has launched a foreign direct investment strategy, geared at creating job opportunities and economic growth for the city and KwaZulu-Natal as a whole.

The region’s sub-tropical climate and economic opportunities associated to the ocean economy are some of the draw cards being highlighted.

The strategy aims to facilitate sustainable investment in Durban through the expansion, retention and aftercare of existing multi-national investors.

The municipality will be announcing the appointment of a unit that will comprise of local business people and other strategists in business.

Amongst the targeted sectors are tourism, the maritime industry, agro-processing, and electrical manufacturing.

”We do have investments coming from mainly China, from the United States and the United Kingdom. We have investments coming from the city but there has been a decline because the economy worldwide is declining. For us to be able to improve the level of foreign investment we need to have a Unit that is solely responsible for that, that responsibility will be to attract investors. The Unit that will be able to sell and tell our story in terms of what packages and incentives we have for foreign direct investments,” explains acting deputy mayor Phillip Sithole.

Meanwhile the World Bank Group has commended the city of Durban for its foresight in attracting foreign-direct investments.

It says Durban and the province of KwaZulu-Natal have much-needed capabilities and potential.

“It’s a fantastic initiative. From the World’s Bank point of view it shows initiative and drive and foresight by the municipality leadership. If South African cities need to make a step-up in making foreign direct investment and indigenous investment, they need to have a strategy to do that and eThekwini did not have a clear strategy to do this before and now it does. The other piece which is encouraging is the uniformity of agreement and objectivity by the city, by the stakeholders and by the private sector and the final piece which is really critical is the commitment to fund and much and large investment promotion team over the next three to five years,” says George Bennet from the World Bank Group.