Africa Is Next Big Thing – Zuma

“We remain firm in the view that after Asia and Latin America, Africa is the next zone of economic growth and development,” he told the SA-Egypt Business Forum in Cairo.

Zuma is on a two-day state visit to Egypt.

It was estimated that the market size of the developing world would be larger than the developed world by 2020, he told the forum.

It was therefore important for developing nations to trade among each other, in addition to trading with the developed North.

South Africa and Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Co-operation on August 2 2009.

“The agreement should help us unlock the economic potential of the two countries through economic co-operation that includes industrial and technological co-operation, as well as the transfer of skills.

“Our message to you as business people of the two countries is that our mission is to increase investments in each other’s economies.

“We want greater volumes of trade, and there is lots of room to achieve this goal,” Zuma said.

South Africa provided opportunities for trade and investments in auto motive components, capital equipment, aerospace, energy, chemicals, agro-processing and ICT, among many others.

“We also urge business people from both countries to make use of opportunities in the continent, which will result especially from regional integration.”

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement, launched in August 2008, had a registered market of 170 million people, worth $360bn.

On the other hand, the proposed Free Trade Area encompassing the east African community, Comesa, and SADC – literally from Cape to Cairo – provided a market of 700 million consumers.

“This is an indication that a lot of work is being done in practical terms, to achieve renewal and economic development in the continent.”

Africa was moving beyond conceptualisation and rhetoric, to concrete work that would help end conflicts, alleviate and ultimately eradicate poverty and create decent work that would improve the quality of life, he said. News 24