Current economic meltdown presents opportunities for South African growth

18 Jun 2009

The South African government views the current economic meltdown as a challenge but also an opportunity to develop alternative strategies of growing the economy.

This was said by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (the dti), Thandi Tobias-Pokolo, in her keynote address, during the first day of the sixth International Business Linkage Forum (IBLF) proceedings, currently taking place at the Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg. The two-day Forum will focus on sector-specific trade and investment opportunities between participating nations.

“The South African Government will look at training lay-offs and finding alternatives to retrenchments. We will also provide financing facilities to industries in distress. But this will not be a free-for-all situation where all companies receive bailouts. We will focus on strategic industries, which have a high impact on economic growth,” said Deputy Minister Tobias-Pokolo.

She added that the Forum is taking place at a time in which many countries in the world are experiencing an economic downturn, impacting on the economies of scale and the balance of payment, as they continue to grapple with their current account deficits.

The High Commissioner of India in South Africa, Rajvi Bhatia, said the IBLF would go a long way in assisting the business people present at the Forum, to develop common strategies to combat the challenges posed by the global economic meltdown.

“Over the past couple of years, this Forum has proved that close working relationships between government and business people are important in ensuring that there is an economic environment conducive to sustaining growth. The growth in bilateral trade, between South Africa and India over the past ten years, is largely due to the collaboration between the private and public sectors from both countries,” said Bhatia.

The IBLF was established in 2003, and currently boasts representation from twenty-nine countries. The Forum provides a platform to encourage the purchase and sale of goods, investment, identification of joint venture partners and the sharing of sectoral trade advice between government and the private sector.

The two-day Forum will end tomorrow, 19 June 2009, and is being attended by delegates from 15 countries, including India, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia, England and China.

For further information, contact:
Sidwell Medupe
Tel: 012 394 1650
Cell: 073 522 6801

Lillian Mofokeng
Chief Director
Cell: 082 888 8362

Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
18 June 2009
Source: Department of Trade and Industry (


Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
18 Jun 2009