Canada – President Ramaphosa has today, 10 June 2018, concluded his working visit to Canada where he participated in the G7 Leaders’ Outreach Summit held in Quebec City, under the theme “Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities”
South Africa’s participation in the two-day session was at the invitation of the host country Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and a business delegation from South Africa.
In line with the President’s stated drive to attract investment to grow the economy and create jobs, as well as reduce poverty and inequality the President had an opportunity to engage with representatives of the business community in Toronto.
The President has welcomed the interest shown by the global business community in South Africa as an investment destination and lauded the “wonderful exchange of views” in a session he described as oversold. President Ramaphosa regards this interest as demonstrating a recognition of South Africa’s new dawn – a period of renewal and rebuilding.
The President further described the G7 Outreach Summit as a success and stressed the importance of the strong political signal delivered by the G7 Leaders’ Outreach focus on developing and implementing innovative strategies to leapfrog the global effort to address issues facing the world’s oceans, including stressors such as plastic pollution, building the resilience of coasts and communities, improving the protection of the world’s oceans and ensuring sustainable use of marine resources. He further noted the paramount importance of strengthening the multi-lateral approach to managing ocean resources beyond national jurisdiction in these efforts.
The President welcomed the opportunity presented for countries to share their experiences, with South Africa reflecting on its own milestones, successes and challenges in relation to management of our oceans as a resource to drive economic growth.
In this regard, the President shared, amongst others, South Africa’s strategy to research and develop alternatives and substitutes for single-use plastics. These actions by South Africa are complemented with cooperative strategies to expand marine protected areas, address over-exploitation through Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fisheries detection and enforcement and supported by an integrated, shared ocean information system as a basis for the sustainable management of the oceans and its users.
The President is confident that preserving and opening up the ocean economy has a potential to create approximately one million jobs from various activities including shipbuilding, sea transportation, aquaculture and exploration of oil and gas, amongst others.
On the side-lines of the Summit, President Ramaphosa held a number of bilateral engagements with Heads of State and Government from various countries including Norway, France, Germany, Vietnam, Rwanda, Kenya and the host country, Canada.
President Ramaphosa returns to South Africa greatly encouraged by the commitment by global leaders to harness the potential of our oceans for development and the very strong message from the G7 Outreach Summit to place youth and women in particular at the centre of efforts to make inequality history.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
10 JUNE 2018