EEC group visits TASEZ

Investigating possible collaboration around developing industrial parks, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone hosted a high-level delegation from the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on 22 January 2024. The commission members spent time with the TASEZ leadership team, sharing ideas and exploring ways to collaborate in setting up industrial parks. TASEZ is seen as an important special economic zone to visit, given that it managed to grow from a vacant lot into a well-established manufacturing hub in three short years, winning a Built Environment Recognition Award as a “state-owned entity that implemented infrastructure projects timeously” in 2023. From the sod-turning ceremony overseen by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2019 to the start of production on Ford’s Next-Generation Rangers on 15 November 2022, TASEZ has been a case study for infrastructure development in South Africa. In addition, TASEZ and their EEC guests, including Nikolay Kushnarev, director of the industrial policy department of the EEC, and Armen Harutyunyan, director of the EEC agricultural policy department, discussed opportunities for foreign investment and the possibilities of attracting investors from the Eurasian Economic Union countries into South Africa’s SEZs. The commission, which was established in 2012, has five members at present: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Russia. “The experience of successful implementation of the Tshwane SEZ clearly demonstrates the existing industrial and technological capabilities and advantages that can contribute to integration with the Eurasian Economic Union industrial sector, [as well as the] increase in value-added production and regional economic development,” Kushnarev noted. TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu concurred, adding: “We are confident this visit will serve as a platform for meaningful collaboration between TASEZ and the EEC, opening new avenues for possible collaboration.” Based in the automotive hub of the City of Tshwane, TASEZ, Africa’s first automotive city, aims to attract automotive manufacturers and suppliers, providing a world-class hub with bespoke facilities and services. The zone sees itself as “shaping the future of automotive excellence” as it helps the South African automotive industry on its path to transform the sector by attracting investments and becoming more inclusive and more sustainable.