PRESS RELEASE

Garden Route Investment Conference

eden municipality.jpg

Significant investment attraction for the Garden Route is currently underway through strategic partnerships between the Eden District Municipality, Provincial Government, Local Municipalities (Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland, Oudtshoorn) and private sector businesses. Engagements with national and international investors will take place on 7 and 8 March 2018 at Oubaai, in George, under the theme "Garden Route Investment Conference: Creating Opportunity in global Uncertainty".

The conference will provide an opportunity for municipalities and private sector to engage on a one-on-one basis with investors.

This unprecedented regional platform for the public sector and business sectors to engage is foreseen to boost the economy through:

- B2B partnerships;
- Government and Private Sector partnerships;
- Establishing businesses;
- Expanding businesses;
- Creating jobs;
 

The following delegations from around the world  have been invited to the Garden Route Investment Conference:

•                    Singapore business;

•                    Chinese Business Delegation

•                    Swedish Business delegation;

•                    South African Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Maldives and Nepal with delegation

OBJECTIVES OF THE GARDEN ROUTE INVESTMENT CONFERENCE
 

The overarching objective of the conference is to attract national and international investors to the Garden Route region and to showcase the investment potential and opportunities that exist within the area. Other objectives include:

- Providing an overview of the National, Provincial and Regional economic development trajectories to investors.
- Showcasing investment/business success stories as case studies
- Pursuing business development and fostering relations with prospective investors.
- Facilitating investment by pre-identifying and providing customised information packages to prospective investors regarding opportunities.
- Arrange one-on-one sessions between municipalities/businesses and potential investors.
- Ensure that measures are in place for a smooth and efficient planning process, which would aid to generate investment outcomes (ease of doing business, investment readiness, etc.).
- Provide a platform where incentives are shared with investors (Mossel Bay, George and Knysna).

Sectors that are most likely to attract investment:

- SMART City Concept
- Agriculture
- Tourism
- Oil & Gas
- Energy
- Film Industry
- Oceans Economy / Small Harbours
- Timber Economy

Background:

In support of the Investment Conference, Eden District hosted four Investment Readiness Workshops in August 2017 in collaboration with South Cape Economic Partnership, Green Cape, Wesgro, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) and B-municipalities The main purpose of these workshops was to assess the Investment readiness of the  Eden District.

These were the first crucial steps that had to be taken by Local and Provincial Government to ensure that an accurate situational analysis was pinned down.

The Investment Readiness Workshops included the following:

- Investment Readiness Workshop in Mossel Bay
- Tourism Workshop in Bitou (Plettenberg Bay);
- A Skills Development Workshop in Oudtshoorn; and
- Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (GreenCape) in George.

For Government to assess what the current socio-economic environment of the Garden Route is, the following topics were discussed during the four Investment Workshops:

- district’s sector advantages the competitive advantage of our area/region regarding business products and services;
- the opportunities within the key and emerging sectors;
- Strategising marketing avenues to use when approaching investors;
- Identifying infrastructure needs;
- Identifying skills gaps and ensuring that skills need match skills demand.

The outcomes of the workshops are intended to address gaps and shortcomings that will ensure that the region becomes more investment-friendly.  The information gathered also gives the district the opportunity to prepare an Investment Prospective. 

Outcomes of the Investment Readiness Workshops

Investment Workshop

- Checklist of investment readiness of businesses and municipalities;
- Training needs regarding investment readiness;
- Review of municipal policies to make the region more investment-friendly;
- Investment prospectus for the region.

Tourism Workshop

- Regional Tourism Model
- Inclusive Tourism Strategy
- Branding of the region
- Events Strategy
- Transformation of the Tourism Sector

Skills Development Workshop

- Business Training and Education Forum (Garden Route)
- Link EPWP program with employer companies
- Multi-donor foundation (government + private)
- How to get business to become part of processes
- Make training profitable for business
- Improve communication regarding businesses
- Entrepreneurship Development + SMME Development
- Skills audit + Business Opportunity Audit
- Develop Creative Industries
- Government Red tape reduction for incentives
- Matching the needs of Business with skills programs
- Increase access to Community Colleges

Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (GreenCape) in George.

•         New business opportunities were identified from under-utilised resources

•         153 resources were identified and discussed

•         425 synergies were identified

Business Breakfasts/Engagements

In addition to the Investment-Readiness Workshops, Business breakfasts/engagements in all seven municipal areas took place. The following was discussed:

•        Skills needs within the business sector to support the process of linking skills training directly to skills demand

•        Opportunities regarding investment within our region and linking these outcomes to the planned business conference taking place in March 2018.

The District Municipality established what the opportunities regarding investment opportunities within the region are and these opportunities will be linked to the Investment Conference.

Dr Florus Prinsloo, Apprenticeship Game Changer Lead at the Premier’s Office has also been involved in the engagements with the businesses.  Dr Prinsloo handed out a survey to businesses during the Business Breakfasts/Engagements with the purpose of finding out what their needs are regarding skills development.

Skills Summit

Eden District Municipality is hosting a Skills Summit on the 1 February 2018. The objective of the Skills Summit is to showcase the skills development needs of business and potential investors. The Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), as well as catalytic skills development funding agencies, such as the National Skills Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund, are invited to attend the Skills Summit.

SETAs focusing on sectors within the Eden District's economy will be invited to present their offerings at the Skills Summit, and catalytic projects per economic sector focus group/champion will be presented to the SETA’s to link skills and training efforts with development initiatives in the district economy

SMME SPIN-OFF

Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) will also benefit from the Investment Conference.

•        Funding fair envisaged for the Investment Conference.

•        Kick-start of Export Development Programme

•        Supply Chain Management Policy of Eden DM will be adjusted to provide more benefits to Small-Medium and Micro Enterprises.

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