KwaZulu-Natal’s Trade and Investment mission to the United Kingdom which ended at the weekend has been a resounding success with major corporations committing to consider investing in the province in the near future. The delegation, led by MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala embarked on a five day tour of various parts of Britain to promote the province’s diverse investment opportunities, especially in infrastructure and energy.
An upbeat Zikalala has described engagements as fruitful, adding that the Province of KwaZulu-Natal stood to derive immense benefits from the negotiations his team had with potential overseas investors. “Our delegation had a high level engagement with Alexander Dennis which is one of the largest manufacturers of buses in the United Kingdom. We are happy that the company has indicated that it would like to set up its assembly plant in KwaZulu-Natal. This will be a major boost to our provincial economy and show the whole world that our province is indeed an ideal investment destination that is always open for business. We view the automotive industry as one of South Africa’s most important sectors as it contributes significantly to employment creation and general growth of our GDP,” added Zikalala.
The British Aviation Group which is the United Kingdom’s representative body for that country’s companies that are involved in the Airports, Aerospace and Aviation Department has also shown an interest in seizing the opportunities that are available in the aviation-focused and aerospace sectors at the Dube Trade Port industrial precinct.
“We are expecting representatives of the British Aviation Group to visit the Dube Trade Port soon to see for themselves the investment opportunities which exist that relate mainly to air services; aircraft maintenance; repair and overhaul facility; executive aerospace; aviation infrastructure and aerospace linked manufacturing,” added Zikalala.
The delegation also had a very fruitful engagement with VisitBritain, a highly effective tourism agency based in London which has agreed to assist KwaZulu-Natal to have direct flights from the UK to Durban. “We have decided to work closely with VisitBritain because we also view tourism as one of the sectors that have the potential to unleash a wave of business and employment opportunities for thousands of our people hence the task of our department, through Tourism KwaZulu-Natal is to persuade more tourists to choose the province for leisure and business travel experience.”
The KwaZulu-Natal delegation was also able to reach an agreement with the British Film Institute which will culminate in a twinning arrangement between the province and that institute. In October this year, the province will be sending a delegation to the United Kingdom to be trained in filmmaking and production.
This is a major fillip for KwaZulu-Natal which has identified the film industry as one of the sectors that can play a significant role in the creation of sustainable jobs and boost the economy of the province.
Issued by The Kwazulu-Natal Ministry for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs.
For more information contact Bongani Tembe on 082 327 2600 or Siyabonga Maphumulo on 082 330 5132.