Small Business Development on collaboration between China and South Africa

Department urges more collaboration between China and South Africa on Small Business Development

Guangzhou, China: The department wanted to see small businesses and cooperatives as the biggest beneficiaries of infrastructure development and economic co-operation between South Africa and China. This was said by the Director General of the Department of Small Business Development, Dr Edith Vries during the China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) which is currently underway in Guangzhou, China.

She urged greater collaboration between the two countries on small business development. As South Africans, we are keenly aware that working in isolation, we will not be able to see the optimal potential of the SMME sector. It is in this context that we agreed to be co-hosts of this year’s CISMEF’, she said. Small businesses must spearhead imports and exports from and between the two countries, she said.

She urged Chinese SMMEs to join hands with our own entrepreneurs, particularly our young entrepreneurs. We have established the INVEST SA facility to ease the entry and regulatory environment for investors. This is a practical manifestation of our message that South Africa is open for business.

Dr Vries explained that the government of South Africa has identified infrastructure development, trade relations and small business development (among other interventions) as catalysts to propel the country’s economic growth and development.

The South African government and state agencies have invested more than R1 trillion in infrastructure between 2009 and 2014, largely in energy, road, rail, ports, public transport, bulk water and sanitation, hospitals, basic and higher education infrastructure and innovative projects such as the Square Kilometre Array and Meerkat telescopes.

Infrastructure development contributes towards improving access by South Africans to healthcare facilities, schools, water, sanitation, housing and electrification. Government’s massive investment in upgrading and building new infrastructure is a powerful driver of economic growth.

She said her department was encouraged by the fact that government infrastructure spending plans are attracting growing interest from the investment community.

Dr Vries told her Chinese audience that the National Development Plan (NDP) identified Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Cooperatives as important drivers of economic growth and job creation.

The NDP views SMMEs and Cooperatives as vehicles for the economic empowerment of the historically disadvantaged, but also recognizes that the small business sector has suffered from decades of neglect. She added that she was pleased that the tide was turning irreversibly.

We are making steady, but significant progress towards making the small business sector a key player in our economy. We are determined to sustain this positive momentum.

Source: Government of South Africa

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