Building capacity and expertise to promote trade and investment in South Africa

30th Sep 2019

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Noluthando Makhaza

Global economic activity is picking up with a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade, according to Chapter 1 of the World Economic Outlook, (International Monetary Fund: 2017). Such activities sustain and grow economies, forming trade synergies between nations, as a result of globalisation. With the aim of increasing export capacity and support direct investment flows into our country, the development of strategic teams who are involved in these processes, whether directly or indirectly, determines the success or failure of our country’s trade and investment portfolio.

In support of such developments, we recently hosted a cohort of delegates on the Trade, Investment Promotion and Economic Development Programme (TIPED). Delegates came from various trade and investment promotion entities, agencies, and government departments around the country. Our TIPED programme is aimed at building capacity and expertise in order to promote trade and investment in South Africa. TIPED will be running for the next three months, covering three core modules and thereafter delegates will then take part in the Advanced TIPED programme where they will cover two more modules.

During the first block release, the programme was facilitated by our knowledgeable facilitators, namely; Dr Jennifer Houghton, Dr Mihalis Chasomeris, and Ms Zinhle Mpungose. The key  themes were; Economic Indicators for Trade and Investment, International Trade and Investment, Partnership Dynamics and Contracts, Building a Performance Culture, Performance Management, as well as Change Management.

The session was very interactive and delegates were not only engaging with the facilitators but also debating amongst each other, and consequently learning from one another in the process. “Although there was too much to learn within a short period of time, nonetheless, this has been one of the most interesting training programmes I have ever attended. I got to understand more on international trade and investment and the manner in which rating agencies operate” – said one of the delegates. Delegates commended our facilitators’ style of teaching as they thought that their expertise on the subjects made each of them stand out. Delegates also enjoyed the group activities as they were extremely insightful. 

Considering our history of apartheid, foreign trade in South Africa has increased, following the lifting of several sanctions and boycotts which were imposed as a means of ending apartheid. South Africa is rated the second largest producer of gold and is the world’s largest producer of various minerals and resources. It is also the world’s third largest coal exporter. South Africa also has a large agricultural sector and is a net exporter of farming products. Hence, such training programmes are of paramount importance to the advancement and success of our economy. We truly hope that the delegates will benefit tremendously from this training and in return transfer the acquired skills and knowledge back into their organisations and consequently benefiting the country’s state of economy.

For more info on our Advanced TIPED programme, please contact:

Hameeda Cassim

T: +27 31 260 4913

E: Cassimh@ukzn.ac.za