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Special Economic Zones officials to attend training in China

The (Special Economic Zone) SEZ Programme has been introduced to contribute to accelerating industrialisation as a necessary step towards addressing many of the country’s socio-economic challenges 

PRETORIA, South Africa, May 29, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- A group of 50 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) practitioners and supporting sector specialists from the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), provincial departments and local municipalities and agencies responsible for the implementation of the SEZ Programme will participate in the Capacity Building Programme on the SEZs in Tianjin, China from 31 May-7 June 2018. The training is the fifth and last under the five-year agreement signed between South Africa and China in 2014.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe, who is currently in China leading the Special Economic Zones Investment Roadshow, the purpose of the Capacity Building Programme on the SEZ is to equip practitioners with the technical know-how on the planning, development, management and operations of special economic zones.

“The Programme is important to ensure that all stakeholders have the technical know-how required for the successful development of the SEZs in South Africa. One of the major challenges that government has identified in relation to the development of the SEZs as part of the implementation of our SEZ Programme is the capacity constraint. This is the fifth group of our officials to be trained in China as part of the implementation of our agreement on the SEZ Programme,” says Magwanishe.

He adds the South African government is grateful to the Chinese government for providing the country’s officials with the opportunity to equip themselves with knowledge, information and skills related to the roll-out of the SEZ Programme.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to negotiate successfully with China for the extension of the programme as we have noticed how beneficial it is to us,” says Magwanishe.

He adds that the dti deemed it necessary to design and implement a Capacity Building Programme on SEZ in order to create a pool of skilled and trained officials who will consequently make the implementation of the SEZ programme a success. China is regarded as one of the best in the world when it comes to the implementation of the SEZs model.

The training covers a range of topics including planning, infrastructure development, developing investment propositions, marketing tools and channels, and how to deal with potential investors, stakeholder management including international alliances, public-private partnerships models, financing and managing operations of the SEZ.

The SEZ Programme has been introduced to contribute to accelerating industrialisation as a necessary step towards addressing many of the country’s socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, poverty and under-development. The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) identifies SEZs as key contributors to economic development. They are growth engines towards government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation.

The objectives of the SEZ Programme include promoting beneficiation and value-addition to the country’s minerals and other natural resources, as well as developing a world-class infrastructure required to support the development of the targeted industrial activities.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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