President Ramaphosa has called for better trade relations with the private sector in the region.
The South African business community has pledged about $500 million to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ensure thatbusiness activities thrive in the region.
This was according to President Ramaphosa when he was speaking at the 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the SADC region in Windhoek, Namibia recently.
This included investments in forestry, agriculture and agro-processing, fertiliser, mining and mineral processing, as well as pharmaceuticals.
“We need to ensure that we create a conducive environment for business to thrive, and to deepen our engagement with the private sector.
“Collaboration with the private sector is important not only in designing SADC regional strategies and initiatives, but also in identifying impediments to greater regional economic integration,” said President Ramaphosa.
The Summit marked the 26th anniversary of the adoption of the SADC Treaty, which was signed on 17 August 1992, and laid the foundation for the formation of the SADC.
President Ramaphosa said he was encouraged by strides taken to maintain peace and stability in the SADC region, including the holding of regular, free and fair elections.
“The consolidation of democracy and the elevation of the rule of law across the region is a sign of the improved effectiveness of our regional institutions and mechanisms”.
As the outgoing chair of the regional body, President Ramaphosa delivered his report to the summit outlining the work of the regional body for the duration of South Africa’s tenure as chair from August 2017 to August 2018.
As chair, South Africa was guided by its tenure theme, ‘Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains’.
The President also handed the Chairship of the SADC to Namibian President, Hage Geingob since South Africa’s tenure had come to an end.
President Geingob expressed gratitude to the region’s heads of state for welcoming him warmly and supporting his chairship.