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Date: 09 May 2012
Title: Motlanthe calls for balance in economic power
Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has urged world leaders to address the disparity in wealth between industrialised countries and developing nations in order to help strike the balance necessary to stabilise the global economic system.
Motlanthe said multilateral co-operation was more relevant than ever in seeking equitable solutions to global problems, especially through the UN system.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, under the theme 'Enhancing Africa's Development through Multilateralism and North-South Cooperation', Motlanthe said last night that South Africa was looking to heighten multilateral cooperation to advance the global development agenda, and tackle under-development and the eradication of poverty.
"We are however concerned that the developing world, especially Africa, has a limited voice and participation in the decision- and policy-making processes of the global trade, economic and financial institutions," Motlanthe said.
He noted that despite increased aid, Africa had not managed to achieve sustainable growth and development.
Development, he said, would only be achieved when the foundations of economic growth and sustained investment were in place and consolidated over the long term.
Motlanthe touted innovation, education, skills development and science and technology as the essential components to helping Africa establish its own basis for viable growth.
"This raises the importance of the investment-export nexus; Africa needs investment that enables it to produce competitive products for export."
In this light, Motlanthe maintained that Africa's full potential for sustainable growth and development demanded that its leaders address a number of challenges.
He named the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, the limitations imposed by small and fragmented markets, inadequate diversification of industrial output, lack of vertical integration in production, and low levels of intra-African trade, as some of the issues deserving of urgent attention.
"There is also a need to address market access for African products. The fundamental issue that will unlock sustainable development for Africa is global trade," he added.
The Deputy President also used the platform to recommit Pretoria to work with the continent to enhance regional integration, diversify and strengthen economic capabilities, build regional markets and promote cross-border infrastructure development.
"We will also work with African countries and governments to ensure that economic relations with partners outside the continent serve the developmental priorities as defined by African countries through the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)."
He said South Africa's inclusion as a member of the Brazil, Russia India China and South Africa (BRICS) group provided a unique opportunity to advance the interests of Africa in global issues to deal specifically with the reform of global governance, the work of the G20, international trade, development, energy and climate change matters.
Motlanthe was on a working visit to Germany where he co-chaired the 7th South Africa - Germany Bi-National Commission, which was reviewing and mapping a way forward for their future relations.
Today, the Deputy President proceeds to Finland at the invitation of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen.
The objective of the Finland visit is to reinvigorate the political and economic relations between the two countries in order to advance South Africa's national priorities, enhance the African Agenda and exchange views on multilateral issues of common interest. - BuaNews