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Sun Dec 04 01:52:07 SAST 2016

Ramaphosa tells Japanese to expect tears in South Africa's 'noisy Parliament'

Carin Smith | 2016-02-16 11:27:58.0
South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and President Jacob Zuma (R) before the Sate of the Nation address at the opening session of Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image by: EPA/MIKE HUTCHINGS/POOL

South Africa can be seen as a country with an excellent investment climate, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told a Japanese business delegation on Tuesday.

He said investors should not be concerned about the "noisy Parliament" they see on television.

"We have a noisy, vibrant and robust democracy, so when you see this on TV you should never be concerned - that is merely the diversity of SA's democracy," said Ramaphosa.

"You will also see a lot of crying in the SA Parliament in times to come."

He said while SA still has to overcome the challenges from its apartheid past, great strides have already been made to repair injustices.

"We are improving SA's investment climate, but there are still some bureaucratic issues to resolve," he said.

"President Jacob Zuma supports a better investment climate and we will be fast tracking plans for a one-stop shop for businesses interested in SA in order to reduce costs and the complexity of investing in the country."

He believes Japan has a great deal to offer SA and he thanked Japanese companies in South Africa for their commitment.

"South Africa's great asset is our young people. They are growing up and getting an education. The combination of youth and skills will make SA and Africa a centre of global economic growth," said Ramaphosa.

At the same time, he emphasised that SA also offers opportunities to Japan by means of the overflow of profits Japanese companies make in the country.

Firm points of doing business in SA, according to Ramaphosa, include the country's "strong and transparent" regulatory environment and "a solid record of prudent fiscal management".

Ramaphosa said SA is interested in Japan's assistance in industries such as boat building, hydropower, aquaculture, water and sanitation and agriculture and agro-processing.

The delegation of the Federation of Economic Organisation of Japan (Keidanren) in turn told Ramaphosa and other officials present - including Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan - that the expanding consumer market in Africa is of interest to Japanese companies.

A representative of Keidanren told Ramaphosa that Japanese companies would like to help with the development of high quality infrastructure for sustained development in Africa. It regards SA as indispensible in Japan's process of expanding in Africa.

Source: News24

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