Motlanthe addresses US Chamber of Commerce

2011-03-31 10:50

South Africa’s growing economy had not created enough jobs to ease the problem of unemployment, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe told the United States Chamber of Commerce.

“Consequently, the New Growth Path is intended to address unemployment, inequality and poverty and is a strategy that is principally reliant on creating a significant increase in the number of new jobs in the economy,” Motlanthe told the chamber yesterday.

He said the New Growth Path aimed to continue and broaden public investment in infrastructure, target more labour-absorbing activities in the agricultural and mining value chains, manufacturing, construction and services.

It also intended promoting innovation through green economy initiatives, and supporting rural development and regional integration.

He said nearly a R1 trillion had been set aside for investment in infrastructure, public housing and the creation of sustainable human settlements.

He said projects like the US National Export Initiative could provide opportunities to strengthen trade relations between the US and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Our government is ready to work with the National Export Initiative to help it identify trade opportunities in South Africa and Africa as a whole,” said Motlanthe.

He was speaking during a four-day working visit to the US to boost its relations with South Africa.

The department of international relations and co-operation said South Africa and the US had close ties.

These were marked by an increase in regular high-level interactions between President Jacob Zuma and President Barack Obama, Motlanthe and US vice-president Joe Biden, and the foreign ministers of both countries.

In 2010, the US was South Africa’s second-largest trade partner, with total trade amounting to R97.5 billion.

The US was also a significant partner in the fight against HIV/Aids and other infectious diseases.

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