The South African economy is the linchpin of the Sub Saharan Africa region. Its government encourages foreign investment in both the public and private sectors.
The Ocean Space is a strategic priority for both Norway and South Africa. South Africa has jurisdiction over one of the largest marine Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, and Norway’s level of prosperity is to a large extent based on the utilization and development of shipping, oil and gas, and aquaculture industries. Around 70 per cent of the global surface is covered by water. As much as 40 per cent of the world’s population live within 100 km of the shore line. In fact, in Norway, more than 80 per cent of the population lives within 20 km of the coast.
The oceans offer an enormous potential for value creation and growth. By the year 2030, it is expected that many ocean-based industries will outperform the growth of the global economy. Sectors that are likely to see particularly high growth include offshore wind energy, aquaculture, fisheries and fish processing. Currently only 17 per cent of the global intake of animal protein comes from seafood, and the potential for more food from the ocean is huge. Other opportunities are to be found in sectors such as port activities, shipbuilding and repair, as well as maritime equipment and shipping. Norwegian companies are innovative and have a competitive advantage from many years of experience and expertise in ocean related industries. In the long run we will see new industries such as increased mineral extraction on the seabed and cultivation and harvest of seaweed, kelp and other organisms.
We need to take advantage of these opportunities. We need to focus more on exploring, exploiting and utilizing a larger share of the earth’s marine resources in a future perspective, and we must do it in a sustainable manner. We must recognize that our oceans provide a valuable basis for joint research, innovation, business and job creation. Maintaining clean, healthy oceans is part of the job we need to do. The need for sustainable ocean development has never been stronger.
Innovation Norway together with the Norwegian Embassy in South Africa has produced a report highlighting concrete business and partnership opportunities that exist between South Africa and Norway. Our countries are in a good position to excel in both new and existing ocean industries. Few countries are better placed to pursue these opportunities than the ocean partners Norway and South Africa. From the Norwegian side, we look forward to continuing to be a close partner with South Africa, and we are confident that the good relationship and trust between our two nations will serve as a strong basis for long-lasting bilateral collaboration.
We can also send you the full report by request.