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Working together, Working together, growing Free State growing thethe Free State Thabo Lebelo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Free State Development Corporation gives details on how the FDC is delivering on its mandate to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to thrive and for inward investment into the provincial economy.

The Free State Development Corporation unlocks business opportunities.

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n line with Free State Growth and Development Strategy and the mandate of broadening access to economic opportunities for the Free State-based business sector, the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) will continue to unlock business opportunities for both local and foreign direct investors.

Both the national and provincial government have provided some relief to businesses in one form or another. The FDC has also partnered with government departments to assist businesses in distress in order to cushion the blow caused by the global health crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a tremendous blow to our SMMEs. Many have been forced to shut their operations for months due to the lockdown regulations. This has had a negative impact on their survival and sustainability with some downsizing their operations, while others have had to cease operations. The FDC continues to foster partnerships with various stakeholders from municipalities, government departments and other state entities with the aim of advancing SMME development, promoting expor ts, attracting investments within the province and most importantly, saving businesses. As an organisation, we believe that the best way to grow the Free State and the country is through meaningful collaboration and partnerships which allows us to pool all our resources together for the betterment of our entrepreneurs. Thabo Lebelo, CEO of the FDC This Free State Business 2021 publication The World Bank Group flagship report, June presents the Free State’s value proposition as a n line with the Free Statea Growth and andRussia anddestination. South Africa have lowbusiness tourism Key opportunities 2020, projected global and GDPDevelopment contraction Strategy theof mandate of broadening accessreal to economic opportunities er GDP growth rates compared in the for Free State include the following: 5.2%.The South African GDP is also theexpected Free State-based business sector, the Free China andcommodities India. The South to go down by 7.2% in 2020 due State to theDevelopment • A leading to agricultural producer Corporation will continue to unlock business opportunities African economy was projected economic(FDC) restrictions that were implemented presents significant opportunities across the for both direct andthrough foreign direct investors. alert to grow bychain. only 1.7% in 2019. by local government its risk-adjusted agro-processing value in Bank response to thethat Covid-19 pandemic. • A(Brazil, quaculture associated with the Thelevels World projected the GDP growth The for BRICS The activities FDC is working hard within has depreciated significantly Gariep Russia,rand India, China and South Africa) willagainst be 5.4%the in US 2019 and 2020.Dam. this framework to promote and the beginning theChina year. All these the•  Spack heep and related value-chain As thedollar bloc’ssince powerhouses, Indiaofand areofleading in farming advance economic development present a very difficult road ahead. The growth processing. terms challenges of higher GDP growth rates. The annual economic rate in South Africa’s most centrally economic recovery will7.5% need thewhile socialChina’s partners ourism development potential leveraging off in India was projected to be inall 2019 annual• Tgrowth located province. to hold handstoand worktotogether. heritage rate was projected decline 6.3% in 2019 from 6.8% in 2017. Brazil, sites and The assets. FDC continues to foster

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FREE STATE BUSINESS FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020 2021

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Profile for Global Africa Network Media

Free State Business 2021  

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