from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN – THE second biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is projected to contribute R580 million (US$38,8 million) to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and create 1 200 jobs.
The calculated economic impact of hosting the event beginning Monday (today) in Durban is expected to include a total direct spend of R235 million.
Government estimates that the IATF 2021 will attract 10 000 buyers and sellers, 1 100 exhibitors and will result in US$40 billion in trade deals.
“The trade fair is expected to yield massive economic spin-offs for KwaZulu-Natal and the country as a whole. It will also attract high-level delegations including heads of state from the continent,” said Sihle Zikalala, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, said.
He added the hosting of the event therefore also augured well for South Africa’s Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan.
The IATF will takes place from November 15-21 under the theme, “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA.”
AfCFTA is the African Continental Free Trade Area founded in 2018, with trade commencing as of January 1, 2021.
According to the World Bank, the AfCFTA agreement has created the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating.
It has also established a market of 1,3 billion people from across 55 countries with a combined GDP of about US$3,4 trillion.
Nomalungelo, Gina, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, urged the South African businesses that is participating in the IATF to contribute in increasing intra-African trade and investment.
More than 80 South Africa companies supported by the department of Trade, and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, are participating.
“As government we have a mandate and an obligation to grow the South African economy,” Gina said.
– CAJ News