The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and Messe Frankfurt are pleased to announce that Durban, KwaZulu-Natal has secured a bid to host the Inaugural Economic Zones Africa Expo (EZAE), which will be hosted at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC (Durban ICC) on 18 – 20 October 2022.
The EZAE will be the first event of economic zones in Africa in the form of SEZs, Industrial Parks, Free Trade Zones, Export Processing Zones and other zones. The event aims to support economic zones in Africa by encouraging and attracting investments, connecting African zones with the best performing SEZs in the world and sharing global best practices within economic zones. African economic zones will share their experiences and this platform will encourage and promote regional integration.
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Ravi Pillay has welcomed this development and stated that it will further enhance KwaZulu-Natal positioning of SEZ’s as growth engines of the provincial economy. “Currently there are two SEZs in the province and their strategic location provides them with a competitive advantage to offer full range of services which is Industrial Development Zones, Free Port, Trade Port and Sector Development Zones.”
South Africa has 11 Special Economic Zones at the moment, strategically located in vital economic corridors and spread across key sectors. “SEZs are the main anchors of government’s strategy to transform the economy and position it as a globally competitive industrial economy. They play a critical role in our strategic objectives of creating industrialized regional economic growth and development. It is for this reason that in his State of the Province Address in February 2021, Premier Sihle Zikalala announced that the Province will establish the third SEZ which will be dedicated to clothing and textile and will be located in the corridor from Newcastle with the main hub in Ladysmith, in the Province’s midlands,” said Pillay.