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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Mar 2011

EXPO: Gauteng is Open for Investment in Automotive Sector

 





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“Gauteng is open for investment in the automotive sector. We’ll see to it that you do business successfully in our province.” This was the message from Amanda Nair, CEO of Blue IQ, to delegates at the Gauteng Investor Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg. The conference was part of the international Automechanika South Africa automotive aftermarket trade fair at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.

“An international trade fair such as Automechanika provides an opportunity not only to meet and engage with interested investors and industry stakeholders attending the expo, but also to send a clear message that Gauteng is well-positioned to facilitate investment,” said Ms Nair.

Although everything is not always plain sailing when it comes to investing in the automotive sector in Gauteng, Ms Nair stressed that the local government was very much aware of the challenges facing the industry and that they were doing everything in their power to pave the way for investments and to create the right climate for investors in the province.

At the conference, industry stakeholders, economists and members of the Gauteng provincial government put the spotlight on automotive investment in the province.

The conference, which was hosted by the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), outlined the opportunities, requirements and required processes for potential international automotive investors. Members of relevant government bodies also attended the conference to link up with investors and encourage foreign direct investment in the province’s automotive sector.

The AIDC is one of two automotive-focused subsidiaries of Blue IQ, the Gauteng provincial government’s agency tasked with unlocking the potential of key growth and development areas for sustainable economic growth in the province. There other is the world-class Automotive Suppliers Park in Rosslyn, near Pretoria.

The aim of the AIDC conference was to give delegates a snapshot of the automotive industry in Gauteng, its impressive capabilities and the investment opportunities it offers.

“One of the AIDC’s functions is to facilitate automotive enquiries. In recent interactions with several automotive suppliers that have considered setting up manufacturing facilities in Gauteng, investors have spoken of the difficulties experienced in gathering information on the automotive manufacturing sector in Gauteng,” said Ms Nair.

National government has demonstrated its commitment to growth in this sector through the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) with its wide range of incentives and tax measures that will become operative in 2013. The Gauteng Economic Growth and Development Strategy has singled out the automotive and component industries for future infrastructure investment, policy interventions and growth incentives from the side of government.

Mkhululi Mlota, Chief Director: Automotive of the Department of Trade and Industry, gave an overview of the favourable investment environment in South Africa. He highlighted the fact that the country has, inter alia, an abundance of natural resources, excellent transport and logistical infrastructure, a world-class financial system, political and economical stability, and skills availability.

“South Africa is the most advanced economy in Africa. Africa is regarded as one of the world’s growth areas, and we all well-placed to be part of that growth going forward.”
According to Mlota, the APDP, which comes into operation in 2013, will be supportive of the automobile sector. The vision is that the South African motor industry will produce 1,2 million vehicles in 2020, of which a large percentage will be exported to countries across the world.

Tony Twine of Ecometrix gave delegates a “health check” of the SA motor industry, emphasising the explosive growth in the export of locally manufactured vehicles since the introduction of the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) in September 1995. Since that date and up to the end of 2010 1,25 million locally produced vehicles were exported.

* A new AIDC publication, Gauteng’s Automotive Value Proposition 2011, was launched at the conference. It contains helpful contact details of various role-players and outlines pertinent issues to investing in the province’s automotive sector.


 
 
 
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