29 Jan 2014 08:00am

SAPA PR--KZN PREMIER TO HOST EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS ISSUED BY: KZN PREMIER ATTENTION: NEWS EDITORS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: KZN PREMIER TO HOST EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu is intensifying government?s efforts aimed at positioning KwaZulu-Natal Province as a destination for foreign direct investment.  This afternoon he will hold bilateral meetings with European Ambassadors at the Umhlanga?s Coastlands Hotel in Durban.  This will be followed by a networking dinner which will be attended by members of his cabinet and captains of industry. The premier says the KZN economy has been integrated with economies of the world because of bilateral relations this government has forged with many countries. KZN is currently home to 27 consulate offices with representatives from the following countries: 1.    Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and United Kingdom; 2.    Angola, Lesotho, Mauritius and Mozambique; 3.    Asian states such as India, China, Korea and Pakistan and United States of America, Canada and Chile. ?We want European Ambassadors to support our goal of creating a prosperous province. KZN has the second largest economy in South Africa, recording a GDP of R322bn in constant 2005 prices in 2012. Our economy has outperformed the national economy during 2012, 2.95% vs 2.55%. Importantly, the KZN Growth Index increased by 16.7% over the past three years.? ?These successes are as a result of the political stability which we have created over the years. We took a firm stand as the leadership of this province to promote an environment of co-existence with other political parties. We did that because we understand that for this province to become a haven for foreign direct investment a climate of peace must prevail.? ?Importantly, we are investing more in social infrastructure such as education and health and we are building transport networks that will become catalysts for socio-economic development. KZN is an important hub of industrial development in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to its rich natural resources and well-developed infrastructure.  Economic activities in the province are mainly concentrated in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, with significant contributions in the Richards Bay, Ladysmith, Newcastle as well as Port Shepstone.? ?We have identified nine prime targets for inward investment - textiles, clothing, plastic products, chemicals, fabricated metal products, automotive components, wood and wood products, footwear, machinery and appliances. Of these, primary and processed aluminium at world competitive prices from local suppliers, provides a real opportunity for investors in these sectors.? ?We are currently inviting potential investors to consider the following projects in the future and these include such Port Expansion and related infrastructure (Dig Out Port), Public Transport System, Renewable Energies Developments, Beach Resort Developments, Cruise Line Development, KZN Aerotropolis, Richards Bay IDZ, Logistics and Transport Infrastructure with Maritime receiving special attention.? Media is invited to attend. Issued by the Office of the Premier Enquiries Ndabezinhle Sibiya 082 3754742 Ends /LN