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Team SA raring to go in Davos

GCIS South African President Jacob Zuma is


photographed by a media contingent upon his arrival at Zurich International Airport. Picture:
Elmond Jiyane, GCIS
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma, several ministers and a large business contingent have
converged on Davos, with Zuma leading the SA delegation to WEF16.
The 2016 theme for the World Economic Forum is Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, while
South Africas theme is South Africa is Open for Business.
The delegation, travelling as Team South Africa, comprises seven ministers and a large business
delegation of chairmen and CEOs of companies.
South Africans held a planning session for what many see as the economic meeting of the year on
January 15 and will now present SAs positive attributes to the thousands of delegates who will
assemble in the small Switzerland town.
WEF16 is taking place amid a challenging global environment for both governments and business.
The deterioration of the global economic outlook in recent months has resulted in slower global
growth that has led to the weaker performance in several important developing countries, including
China, which is now seeing growth at levels last seen in 2009.
In addition, the rand - along with other emerging market currencies - has slumped and oil prices are
at prices last seen decades ago.
Amid these woes, inflation is ticking up locally, putting pressure on the South African Reserve Bank
to hike interest rates next Thursday. Inflation moved to 5.2 percent from 4.8 percent in December.
The prime lending rate is currently at 9.75 percent and many economists and analysts expect a hike
next week.

In addition, the weakness in commodity prices is a


concern for major commodity exporters such as South
Africa. The fall in commodity prices is unlikely to
reverse and will have a sustained impact on emerging
market economies.
Despite these global woes, in a statement, Zuma says
South Africa will be able to present a strong case for
South Africa in Davos.
South Africa has proved to be a resilient economy,
which is the outcome of the solid economic fundamentals that have been laid since the advent of
democracy. Building on this success, the National Development Plan provides a basis for collective
action by all of us in the country to stabilise the economy, build confidence, raise the level of
investment and return South Africa to a path of inclusive economic growth, he said.
The economy grew at 0.7 percent in the third quarter, gaining from a 1.3 percent contraction in the
second quarter.
Zuma added: We will also be sending a strong message that South Africa is committed to strong
fiscal discipline.Government
has stuck to its spending limits for the past three years and is on track to stay within the expenditure
ceiling in 2015/16.
Despite global woes, government points out that many multinationals are investing in SA, including
Mercedes investing R 2.4 billion, General Motors R 1 billion, Ford R3.6 billion, the Metair Group
R400m, and Goodyear R670 million.
BMW recently increased its investment by R6 billion and VW by R4.5 billion.
Zuma is accompanied by:
The Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the lead minister
The Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies
The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane
The Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel
The Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson
The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
IOL

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