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Economic Diplomacy Specialist

24 October 2019

As South Africa finds itself in the final throes of a turbulent transformation, its true potential begins to emerge. Advocate Mr. Ajay Sooklal a freelance advisor and former Chief Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for South Africa presented an analysis on South Africa’s current situations and prospects in the political economy.

Photo:  (l-r) Mr Kirtan Bhana, founding editor of The Diplomatic Society, Advocate Ajay Sooklal, Mr Park Jong Dae, Ambassador of Korea and Mr Pyong Il Son, Regional Director General for KOTRA Africa

Sooklal was speaking at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea’s business forum for Korean business in South Africa hosted regularly to discuss various issues of doing business in South Africa, the region and the continent.

 As Africa finds peace with itself and stability returns, it is becoming the new frontier for foreign investment. The World Bank has ranked many African countries favourably on its Ease of Doing Business Index, including South Africa.

South Africa, the fourth largest in terms of population, and most advanced in terms of economics and infrastructure, was developed on a skewed and unequal system under the brutal apartheid regime. Today it accounts for 30% of Sub Saharan GDP and accounts for many of the promising statistics on Trade and Investment and makes compelling investment opportunities, explained Sooklal.

As a Developing Market Economy supported by a Constitutional State, a transformative Parliament, an Independent Judiciary, attractive demographics and abundant natural resources some of the key long term opportunities were outlined by Advocate Sooklal in his presentation.

Sooklal joined the legal profession in 1978 and has served as Special Advisor to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development and as Chief Director at The Department of Trade and Industry. His vast experience and knowledge in a wide range of sectors is specifically sought in the field of Economic Diplomacy




February/March 2020


















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