THE State of Nevada - home to the renowned resort city Las Vegas – is looking to partner with KwaZulu-Natal to grow the economy and ensure better opportunities for youth.

At a business seminar hosted by Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) to welcome a delegation led by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, discussion centred around several areas for collaboration to enhance bilateral trade such as aerospace, construction, consulting, cyber-security, logistics, security and advanced water technologies.

TIKZN acting Chief Executive Neville Matjie said the collaboration was aligned with the organisation’s mandate to promote KZN as an investment destination.

“As Nevada’s first trade mission into Africa, and South Africa in particular, we are delighted that the potential for synergies and opportunities to enhance technology, commercialisation, bilateral trade and investment will be intensified through the partnership.

“InvestSA KZN, a one-stop shop under the auspices of TIKZN, will help unlock the economic growth potential of KZN and South Africa by creating a regulated climate conducive for the ease of doing business whilst advancing government’s commitment to attract foreign direct investment,” Matjie said.

Governor Sandoval invited the South African delegation to visit Nevada and further the deliberations. “It’s a great privilege to be here in KwaZulu-Natal. This is a historical moment for the State of Nevada. This is our first trade mission to South Africa and our first visit to KwaZulu-Natal.

“We see several areas of co-operation where we can work together with regard to tourism, mining, water, research and business. We look forward to the opportunity to work and learn from one another and to lift the quality of life for our citizens,” Sandoval said.

Welcoming the delegation, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said: “We need to explore how states, provinces and cities can work together to promote maximum growth, sustainable development, inclusion and transformation to benefit all citizens. Cities also have to ensure that they are geared for challenges and opportunities created by climate change.

“We also need to promote innovation and ensure that we participate meaningfully in the fourth Industrial Revolution. The enormous opportunities created by modern technology, particularly for youth, must be high on our agenda.

“I am sure your engagements with business leaders, educators, researchers and government officials in Durban and the province will build positive and progressive relations and areas of cooperation for mutual benefit,” Gumede said.

Also addressing the delegation was KwaZulu-Natal Premier Thembinkosi Willies Mchunu who said new business ventures in KZN and the formation of mutually beneficial partnerships were most welcome.

“As a country we aim to create 11 million new jobs by 2030 with 2,1 million new jobs in KwaZulu-Natal alone. For this to happen our economy must grow at more than 4% annually.”

Mchunu added that creating an environment conducive to doing business was important.

“With our two harbours, Richards Bay and Durban, as well as the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, the state-of-the-art Dube Trade Port, as well as the King Shaka International Airport, we are determined to create win-win partnerships for our sister states in the world.

“Our road and rail network links us to the rest of South Africa, as well as neighbouring African countries. This means that the province is strategically positioned to be the logistics gateway into Africa and to the rest of the world,” Mchunu said.

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