Today, Wesgro, the official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape put a spotlight on global opportunities for business in 2021.
The event, attended by businesses stakeholders, and senior representatives of all levels of government, also provided an overview of current trends, risks and opportunities. The agency was particularly pleased to welcome, Mavuso Msimang, one of the most experienced public sector leaders in democratic South Africa, as keynote speaker.
Mavuso Msimang touched on the need for a collective effort - from the public, media, the private and public sectors - to fight the scourge of corruption that has been holding South Africa back in the last 27 years and the need to demand accountability from those we have put in power. He went on to state that the last line of defence for South Africa is its citizens - citizens need to demand more.
At the event, Wesgro’s Senior Economist, Janine Botha, identified a number of insights relevant to Western Cape business, including that:
• the second half of 2020 saw stronger and sooner-than-expected recoveries in a number of regions and economies,
• the latest economic outlook has markedly improved, with the global economy projected to recover to 5.5% in 2021, from -3.5% in 2020, developing economies are set to lead the recovery charge
• the local economy bounced back in the second half of 2020, underpinned by booming agriculture and agri-processing exports and a strong recovery in the manufacturing sector,
• the pandemic has had some positive impact on innovation, from health-tech to fin-tech to agri-tech to retail, highlighting the increasingly important role that innovation and digitization will play in a post-Covid world.
“While the Western Cape has been unable to avoid the impact of the pandemic, the province has continued to attract large-scale investment, boost export earnings, and further entrench Cape Town’s position as Africa’s tech capital, all of which demonstrates the region’s resilience,” said Wesgro’s Senior Economist, Janine Botha.
David Maynier, the Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, commented: “Businesses in the Western Cape have continued to show resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. By continuing to identify opportunities, innovate and adapt we will work together to position the Western Cape as a globally competitive business destination, rebuild our economy and create jobs.”
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Member for Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Asset Management at the City of Cape Town, said: “Together with our partners, including Wesgro, the City is determined to attract investment which will drive economic development in Cape Town. While the global pandemic has wreaked havoc on many economies and businesses, it is not all doom and gloom. Driven by our Economic Action Plan, designed by the Economic Task team I established early on in the pandemic, we have been able facilitate R11.27 billion worth of investment, create 7 631 new jobs and train almost 3 000 people during 2020, through our Strategic Business Partners. Looking to the future, my team and I are working full steam ahead on Cape Town’s economic recovery and readiness. With the right plans, which take advantage of the opportunities the pandemic has created, I am confident that we will not only survive, but to thrive.”
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, emphasised Wesgro’s intentions for the year ahead: “We are ready to help Western Cape business to take advantage of global opportunities in 2021. Across our economic mandates, and in tourism promotion, we will be working with our partners in the public and private sectors to contribute to a strong economic recovery in South Africa.”
To read more on the Global Economic Priorities for Cape Town & the Western Cape 2021, go to: https://bit.ly/392UuXR