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City hosts high-profile Thai delegation in Atlantis

The City of Cape Town recently hosted a high-profile Thai government and business delegation in Atlantis to promote trade opportunities that are available in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The City of Cape Town, together with our trade promotion partners, hosted a delegation from Thailand to promote the business opportunities on offer in the Atlantis SEZ.

'Our role is to create the conditions conducive to do business that will lead to job creation. Four years ago, the City and Provincial Government embarked on a journey and applied to National Government for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) designation, so that we could attract even more investment into the area. The declaration of Atlantis as an SEZ in June last year has afforded our dedicated investment facilitation team, led by myself as the incoming Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities, the opportunity to promote Atlantis and demonstrate to the residents and surrounding areas that government is serious about economic and social development, and job creation in the area,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member of Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos.

The City's land and infrastructure will form the backbone of the SEZ. The land is currently owned by the City but the process of transferring it to the SEZ has started. Approximately 94 hectares of this land will be transferred from the City specifically for use by the SEZ.

A total land area of 118,6 hectares will make up the Atlantis SEZ.

Additionally, the incentives provided by the City to attract investment includes fast-tracking land use and building plans, a reduced electricity tariff, providing exemption from application fees for land and building plans and debt write-offs to businesses that meet employment targets.

The Atlantis incentives scheme introduced in 2013 saw a total of 132 financial incentives being taken up, amounting to a combined value of R73,7 million. In addition, some 1 658 non-financial incentives were taken up by eligible companies at the end of the 2017/18 financial year. These efforts have also meant that thousands of jobs have been retained and additional jobs have been created by new investors coming into the area.

The City is an instrumental stakeholder in the SEZ. As the local authority and land owner, the City has played a key role, from the roll-out of infrastructure such as the MyCiTi bus route, fibre internet and electricity upgrades to softer support in skills, enterprise development, and business incubation in support of the SEZ.

'We need to do all we can to create a climate that is conducive to job creation. We cannot do this alone, therefore such initiatives to incentivize companies to set up shop in Atlantis will help us to achieve our objective of being a caring city that creates opportunities for its residents to help improve their lives. This is one of the ways we can eradicate poverty,' said Alderman Vos.

The City also identified an opportunity to establish a GreenTech hub that would tap into growing global GreenTech market opportunities while addressing unemployment challenges in Atlantis.

Based on that vision, the City designed a land disposal process for GreenTech that has understood local, continental and international investor requirements to be able to access land swiftly.

To date, the City's efforts towards its vision for a GreenTech hub include providing land for a GreenTech industrial park to support the revitalization of Atlantis as a strategic development node and providing incentives for investors across financial and non-financial sectors.

'Since its designation as an SEZ, investor interest in Atlantis has increased and initial discussions have taken place with companies in the waste recycling, green building, renewable energy, energy-efficiency and water subsectors.

We look forward to hosting more international trade delegation and showcasing the #investcapetown initiative.

'This journey has also been a firm example of the collaborative spirit in which all three spheres of government worked together for the sake of economic growth and job creation. Our other partners on this journey, as well as investors who have already taken up incentives provided by the City and opened their companies in the area are equally valuable, and will remain an important part of the success of Atlantis for years to come.

'We look forward to working with many more potential investors to ensure that they have all the support they need and that we create a seamless process for them to set up shop in Atlantis and continue creating more jobs. We look forward to a favourable response from the Thai delegation to invest in Atlantis down the line. Our door is open,' added Alderman Vos.

The Thai delegation consisted of members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including Lt Sorawud Preededilok, Minister attached to the Department of South Asian, Middle East and African Affairs, and the Director General, Mr Jesda Katavetin. Ms Panpilai Baiyoke, President of BYK Intertrade Company Ltd, led the business delegation.

The Thai Ambassador from the Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria, Mr Komate Kamalanavin, also joined the delegation on their visit to Cape Town.

Source: City Of Cape Town

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