All set for global trade conference

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

KwaZulu-Natal's hosting of the first-ever International Trade and Investment Conference and Exhibition is part of an aggressive campaign for the region to achieve an 8percent economic growth rate by 2010.

At the moment, the province's economy is growing at 5percent.

Yesterday, MEC for finance and economic development affairs Zweli Mkhize said key investors would attend the exhibition.

"Investors that we have targeted will come from countries with strong trade and business links with South Africa.

"This is in line with KwaZulu-Natal's objective to achieve an economic growth rate of 8percent by 2010," said Mkhize.

He said such an achievement would only come by increasing investment and broadening participation in the economy as well as enhancing skills development.

"By improving the competitiveness of our economy, we would reap the greatest of rewards," he said.

He said there was a lot of activity in place now that would see the economy of South Africa and southern Africa as a whole growing in leaps and bounds.

Mkhize said that President Thabo Mbeki and Trade and Investment Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa would therefore visit Namibia soon because it is important that the region shares in the growth.

Zamo Gwala, chief executive of Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal, said the event also offers local SMMEs a chance to showcase their work and increase their chances of foreign trade.

This global trade conference starts on Monday.