South Africa is not financially bankrupt
Chris Hart, Chief Economist at Investment Solutions
“South Africa is not financially bankrupt,” said Chris Hart, Chief Economist at Investment Solutions, a South African investment company with R250 billion under its management.
He was speaking at a networking session for the development of an export index hosted by Brand South Africa and Business Sweden.
He explained that the macroeconomic instability presents opportunities and risks emphasising that South Africa is a stable country at peace, with a participative democracy, good institutions and headed towards holding its fifth democratic elections and celebrating 20 years of democracy and freedom. He pointed to the resilience with which South Africa has coped with the global financial fallout and the diversification and multi sectorial growth which offers some protection from volatile markets.
There are solutions to all of South Africa’s economic woes explained Hart, saying that employees and employers will realise that they have a common goal. Managing the expectations of the ‘apartheid scar’ was key to the solution as it affects South Africans and does not mean much to anyone else. He said that poverty, inequality and unemployment will diminish if focus is placed on poverty reduction which targets income and costs. Rewarding business success and savings is fundamental to attraction for investment, he went on to say.
Mauro Gozzo, Chief Economist at Business Sweden
Economics is the study of human behaviour, said Mauro Gozzo, Chief Economist at Business Sweden, pointing out that investment is made in people. His presentation described how Sweden established its Export Managers Index and pointed out that South Africa was more focussed on investment while Sweden’s focus was primarily export development. He also gave recognition to South Africa’s economic development saying that there is great potential yet to be realised.
Petrus de Kock , Research Manager at Brand South Africa
Petrus de Kock , Research Manager at Brand South Africa made reference to the inaugural Competitive Forum that was held last November saying that it had raised several factors that influence the country’s performance.
Olov Hemstrom, Swedish Trade Commissioner
Moderating the discussions was Swedish Trade Commissioner, Olov Hemstrom. He described Sweden’s highly successful economy referring to the four main sectors including Mechanical Engineering, Automotive, ICT and pharmaceuticals.