The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) hosted a delegation from the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO’s) Forum to reflect on the general performance and progress of SEZ’s.

This was followed by a site visit to the port of Ngqura and Coega SEZ.

“The initiative by the Department of Trade & Industry (the dti) to establish a forum of CEO’s from various SEZ’s has done wonders in knowledge sharing and emulating templates of success in the implementation of the SEZ programme,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, unit head brand and marketing, CDC.

The meeting reflected on current arrangements conducted by the dti for the SEZ programme, including the planned investment and infrastructure conference for next year.

“The conference will speak to policy imperatives as well as explore various initiatives that would boost investment attraction and market the competitiveness of SEZ’s to investors. An announcement by the dti on the specific details regarding the conference will be announced in due course,” said the dti.

“It’s exciting to hear about the planned conference, as the CDC, we certainly welcome any initiative that seeks to bolster investment,” said Dr Vilakazi.

The meeting further elaborated on various operational successes and challenges facing the SEZ’s. One of the two highlights reported on was the recent launch of the BAIC SA facility, which saw the opening of the plant by both the Chinese President, Xi Jinping and South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Appreciating the developmental nature of new legislations, teething items are likely to creep during the operational phase and it’s through these engagements with the various CEO’s we are likely to iron them out.

“We will certainly take some of the suggestions by the CEO’s into cognisance moving forward,” concluded the dti.