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INTERVIEW

Poised for growth Western Cape Business spoke to Wesgro CEO Tim Harris about new development in the region and highlights of the past year.

What noteworthy developments have taken place in the region over the past year?

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris

BIOGRAPHY Tim Harris is Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, the Western Cape's official Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency. Wesgro is more than 30 years old and remains the oldest organisation of its kind in the country. Prior to that appointment he was the Director of Trade and Investment in the Office of the Executive Mayor at the City of Cape Town and the Shadow Minister of Finance with Democratic Alliance in parliament. He was elected to Parliament aged 29. Harris has a Masters in Economics from UCT. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

A big event was the launch of the Cape Investor Centre in St George’s Mall, Cape Town, which was developed in conjunction with Invest SA, the dti’s new investment initiative. Invest SA is setting up One Stop Shops for investors around the country. The Gauteng One Stop Shop was launched in 2017, followed by the Western Cape and then KwaZulu-Natal. The One Stop Shop is a collaboration between the dti, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Wesgro as the operating partner. We have 14 government entities represented in one space, including SARS, the Department of Labour and the Department of Home Affairs, all with one thing in common: they’re investor-facing and the theory is that by co-locating them we can speed up the response time and processing time for investors, thereby improving the experience for major investors in the Western Cape. What are the region’s investment highlights over the past year?

The major investment announced in the past year is by Czech textile manufacturer Pegas Nonwovens. It already has a presence in Africa, in Egypt, and was looking for a Sub-Saharan site. We were pleased to get the decision to build the facility in Atlantis – it’s considerably over a billion-rand investment. The company makes nonwoven textiles primarily for the personal hygiene products market, with customers such as Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, for use in products like sanitary goods and nappies. It’s a great endorsement for our positioning of Cape Town as the gateway to access the Sub-Saharan African market. The company is making an investment here because they see huge growth in the consumer base in Africa. What has the response been to the Atlantis Special Economic Zone?

The level of interest we’re seeing in the SEZ shows how important tax incentives are in this space, particularly because the original idea for Atlantis was that it would focus on renewable energy. There is already some exciting manufacturing taking place in that sector, but as the policy environment has become less attractive, the investment

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Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

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