NELSON Mandela Bay may soon receive another international investment after a South Korean tele- communications company identified the city as a major investment opportunity base yesterday.
Their potential investment – drawn primarily by the city’s role as the backbone of the country’s car manufacturing industry – could add to a host of others in the Bay, which has been dubbed by officials as South Africa’s new investment hotspot.
A delegation from Korean Microwave Limited (KMW) yesterday met the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and the Coega Development Corporation.
KMW – which has a forecast turnover of $180-million (R1.48- billion) – said the Bay’s automotive industry would be the ideal opportunity for business development between SA and Korea.
This follows the R600-million investment by Chinese vehicle manufacturer First Automobile Works, which is building its R200-million truck and car assembly plant at the Coega IDZ.
The company had toured the country exploring investment possibilities and was looking to provide business solutions in network communication, construction and the energy sectors.
Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said the city wanted to attract investors to accelerate economic growth, which would lead to job creation and poverty alleviation.
KMW’s executive director, Jung-Woong Park, said they were impressed by "the large window of investment opportunity” the Bay had to offer.
"We are highly impressed by the city’s strides in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and hope to add to them,” he said.
"The socio-economic problems in SA are exactly those we faced in Korea 30 years ago, but we believe this country is in a more fortunate position in terms of natural resources.”
The company heard presentations on the city’s current business environment and existing investments, which have a total worth of over R30-billion.
Wayile said he hoped the visit would yield positive results.
"I do hope that interactions will be productive and worthwhile and I look forward to positive developments emanating from the visit,” he said.
"We are open for business – seize the opportunity and become our partner in growing the economy and fulfilling the aspirations of the people of the Bay.”