Kwazulu-Natal welcomes 500 national Special Economic Zone delegates
KwaZulu-Natal is again rolling the red carpet for delegates coming from all over the country to attend a first of its kind two-day national Special Economic Zone Summit in eThekwini.
The summit, themed ‘Moving Towards Excellence’, is being hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs jointly with the Department of Trade and Industry. The Summit will be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 3 to 4 April 2019.
Over 500 delegates and an assortment of speakers are expected to take part in the Summit. The delegates will comprise of national, provincial and local government officials, State-Owned entities, SEZs officials from other provinces, industry associations, industry experts and academics, international Investment communities and local businesses, multinational corporations and as well as ports and logistics operators.
KwaZulu-Natal has two Special Economic Zones at Dube Trade Port and the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone – that are strategically located within the radius of two ports as catalysts and engines for mega economic development in the province.
These two SEZs have bolstered KwaZulu-Natal investment portfolio and have played a pivotal role in the province R200 billion-worth of investment. These include the attraction of both domestic and Foreign Direct Investments, contribution to global competitiveness and creation of employment opportunities.
The Summit comes just in time when an R18 billion second phase expansion of the Dube Trade Port has just been announced. DTP, since its inception about two decades ago has signed R3.2 Billion worth of investments in diversified sectors. The RBIDZ has also committed millions in its expansionist agenda in the northern part of the province. Since its launch a few years ago, RBIDZ has since signed investments of more than R11.9 billion representing different key sectors of the economy.
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala said the Summit will contribute significantly in promoting and validating the South African SEZ value-proposition.
“For South Africa to have vibrant SEZs and competitive regional economies, it is necessary to engage in regular dialogues among key stakeholders such as this national conference. The SEZ Programme was specifically developed to promote the creation of a regionally diversified industrial economy by establishing new industrial hubs in underdeveloped regions of our country,” says Mr Zikalala.
Mr Zilalala added that it was imperative to bring together representatives of all spheres of government, the SEZs, relevant agencies and international experts and as well as members of the academia in a national multi stakeholder platform to share ideas, expertise, knowledge and information on progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of the SEZ Programme. This is essential achieving government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation.
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