South Africa deploys NDP team to Davos

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The implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) will be on the agenda for South Africa’s ministerial delegation to this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

At the annual gathering starting on 22 January 2014, seven of South Africa’s Cabinet ministers will update global business leaders on the country’s plans to raise the level of economic growth under the auspices of the NDP.

The meeting will discuss economic, financial and technological trends and issues of global importance, the Ministry of Finance said.

The NDP aims to reduce the costs of living and of doing business, resulting in improved consumer and business confidence, rising levels of private investment, and higher growth and employment.

The seven ministers who will attend WEF are: Yunus Carrim (Communications); Rob Davies (Trade and Industry); Pravin Gordhan (Finance); Derek Hanekom (Science and Technology); Trevor Manuel (Minister in the Presidency responsible for National Planning); Edna Molewa (Water and Environmental Affairs); and Ebrahim Patel (Economic Development).

This year’s WEF takes place amid parts of the global economy showing signs of a pick-up in growth. Growth is being seen in some developed countries, more specifically the USA. World business and political leaders will also meet in Davos at a time when the World Bank has just published forecasts, which show that growth in emerging markets might accelerate somewhat in the period ahead.

The World Bank’s Global Economics Prospects report published last week pointed out that the slower pace of growth in emerging market economies was not a cause for concern. The bank forecast that growth in emerging markets will rise from 4.8% in 2013 to 5.3% this year, 5.5% in 2015 and 5.7% in 2016.

This pace of growth is some 2.2% points below the pace emerging markets achieved during 2003-07, a period of unprecedented boom in commodities, the bank said.

However, developing countries do need higher levels of inclusive economic growth if they are to meet their developmental challenges. In South Africa’s case, the country needs faster and more inclusive growth to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“For SA, the NDP, indeed, provides a strong platform for collaboration among business, government, labour and civil society and the transition to a faster-growing, more inclusive economy. The plan promotes enhanced competitiveness, expanded infrastructure, greater spatial efficiency in growing cities and accelerated rural development. It prioritises measures to build a capable, effective state that delivers services to citizens while encouraging business investment and growth.”

The theme of this year’s WEF annual summit is: “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business”.

The summit aims to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges. These challenges are, according to WEF, due to the fact that profound political, economic, social and, above all, technological forces are transforming our lives, communities and institutions.

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