Outcomes of the Visits to Japan and Indonesia by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Questions and answers for Oral Reply by the Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in the National Assembly (NA)

14 June 2006

1. Ms MM Ntuli (ANC):

What were the outcomes of the visits she recently undertook to?

  • Japan
  • Indonesia

What benefits will South Africa derive from these visits?

Reply:

The Deputy President met, amongst others, the following parties in Japan:

1. Prime Minister Kaizumi
2. Vice Chancellors of Universities (about 20)
3. Japan Business Federation, including Japanese businesses operating in South Africa such as Toyota and Mitsubishi
4. Several training institutions

The most important outcomes are:

  • Training collaboration with Japanese institutions is being deliberated upon, which will address our scarce skills.
  • Through possible placement and/or student exchange opportunities with Companies and/or universities in Japan. Small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME)
  • Strengthening relationships and increasing confidence among Japanese institutions which do business in South Africa, i.e. Toyota wants to expand manufacturing capacity in Durban where they already employ 10 000 people, Toyota will be up-skilling of their workforce.

The major focus of the trip to Indonesia was the small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME)) sector and tourism. Indonesia has considerable experience in the development of souvenirs and in the promotion of tourism sector. The objective was to derive lessons from the Indonesia experience, focusing on roles played by Government, SMMEs, and Financial Institutions in developing the robust SMME and souvenir industry presently enjoyed by the Indonesian SMME. A delegation of SMMEs; MECs from KwaZulu-Natal and North West; the Deputy Ministers of Finance, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), National Productivity Institute; accompanied me. The delegation focused mainly on areas of possible cooperation between the SMMEs in both countries.

An area that emerged as interesting for both parties was cooperation in the development of 2010 souvenirs. Indonesian SMMEs are advanced in creating a range of products and souvenirs that depict the 2010 Football International Federation Association (FIFA) World Cup. The Deputy Minister for Finance was requested by the Deputy President to investigate the possibility of cooperation for production of FIFA 2010 souvenirs and report on the implications of such, given the FIFA rules, as well as their ownership of all brands and logos relating to the world cup.

The other industry that is highly developed in Indonesia is the Batik industry. This industry is dominated by SMMEs, who create unique styles that are in high demand internationally, especially by Africans. An area of cooperation therefore was possible joint ventures between our SMMEs and the Indonesian ones to create unique African partners for our market, and to focus on distinct South African designs. Most of the cotton they use for Batik is imported from South Africa and Zimbabwe. The partnership would, therefore, make sense.

SEDA and National Productivity institute (NPI) are finalising a souvenir proposal based on the Indonesian experience. Some of the SMMEs they took to Indonesia are participating in the creation of souvenirs with the guidance of SEDA. They are also investigating the possibility of having a one stop emporium that would showcase all of South Africa's SMME products. This is an idea that we saw in Indonesia, where they organise a trade show for all their regions, and the entire buyers and sellers comer together for trade.

The other issue that we also raised is placement of unemployed graduates in the Batik industry, given our need to save jobs in clothing industry and to enhance our arts and crafts, as well as tourism. A follow up visit to Eastern Cape has also taken place in May and an agreement for cooperation has been signed.


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