Chamber CEO Kevin Hustler says he is particularly excited about the 2,500 direct employment opportunities this investment is expected to create, with an indirect job creation prospect of 10,500.
The chamber reacted to an announcement made today only days after the Democratic Alliance took control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro that the Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC) will invest R11 billion at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The investment is reportedly the the largest single investment in Africa in decades. It is expected to be a major catalyst for the region’s economy.
Hustler says Nelson Mandela Bay makes the most sense as an investment destination for the Chinese vehicle manufacturer, “because we already have four multinational vehicle manufacturers operating in our region. This enables the region to have a shared skills pool of qualified labour, as well as a diversified and strong local supplier base, off which the new vehicle manufacturer could most certainly leverage and benefit”.
He said the automotive sector is a priority sector of the Nelson Mandela Bay Industrial Development Strategy and forms the backbone of the regional economy. The positioning of Nelson Mandela Bay as an attractive destination for international investment is vital to the building of a competitive and sustainable city.
“With the automotive industry recognised as the anchor industry of the Bay’s economy, investments into this sector are especially welcome to strengthen and sustain our economic foundation. We also welcome the strengthening in relations between China and South Africa, leading to an increase in economic activity between the two countries.”