Panasonic South Africa – a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation – launched its new South African headquarters in Century City, Cape Town, on Thursday.
According to Hiroyuki Shibutani, Panasonic's head of the Africa region, it was decided to move to the Western Cape because of the growth in its customer base in the region as well as to have access to other large companies located in the Cape. The strong skills pipeline in the province was another positive factor.
Panasonic South Africa is now investigating whether it would be viable to move its entire African headquarters to the Cape, according to Hidetoshi Kaneko, managing director of Panasonic South Africa. The African headquarters is currently in Dubai.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris welcomed this investment.
“More than 40 staff will be based in these offices, with many relocating from Johannesburg. We are also very excited about their plans for growth and expansion, and our investment promotion team is on stand-by to assist them,” said Harris.
At the launch, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said Panasonic's decision is a great vote of confidence in the region as it is such a major global player setting up base in Cape Town.
"Since 2009 we have worked tirelessly to create a conducive environment for businesses to operate freely, create jobs and grow the economy,” said Zille.
She added that a recent PwC report scores Cape Town very strongly on ease of doing business, cost, transportation, infrastructure, sustainability and the natural environment.
“The latest move by Panasonic will have a positive impact for our economy, and I am certain it will clear the way for other investors to do the same,” said Zille.
The new Century City-based facility has established a “Life Experience Centre”, open to the public and designed with the aim of developing new products which are uniquely suited to the South African market.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, said this once again proves that Cape Town is a globally competitive, forward looking city.
"A number of electronics manufacturing companies are based in the city and this is creating a vibrant ecosystem that spurs on competition and innovation. We will continue to amplify our efforts to make Cape Town a destination of choice for investment and companies,” said De Lille.
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