Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) hosted an information sharing seminar for the KZN Chemical Industry at the Hilton Hotel Durban. The seminar set out to share information on financial support, grant funding and rebates in the industry and highlighted results from the Chemical Industrial Park study. Also in the discussions was the development of a chemicals value chain study which aims to stimulate industry growth. The project is a collaboration between Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal and the Durban Chemical Cluster which is funded by eThekwini Municipality. Mr Mika Moerat, Senior Manager: Sector Development from the Department Of Economic Development and Tourism stated that "There is a great need for a chemical industrial park in KZN. This is a priority sector which has the ability to create sustainable jobs for the province. The pre-feasibility study indicated that one of the challenges is a lack of suitable land. Land needs to be sourced that is suitable, for instance, it needs to be close to an adequate water supply and road/rail links. Once this is established KZN has the potential to create a world class facility to attract FDI in this sector". Ms Rajeshri Sardha,Trade Advisor at the Department of Trade and Industry discussed the DTI incentive programs for manufacturing and export. These consist of Manufacturing Investment program, Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Program, Black Business Supplier Development Program for any sector of business and Export Marketing and Investment Assistance for export ready companies. Ms Bashni Maistry, Managing Member of Santia Customs Consulting presented a brief background to customs duties and their place in the global environment. It dealt specifically with an explanation of the Jacobsens Tariff and the rebate items contained herein. These rebates relate to the full or partial rebate of the customs duty on imported raw materials used for further processing in South Africa. It also contains rebates which relate to goods that are imported for manufacturing and exports. These rebates afford manufacturers a savings on the duty component contained in Schedule 1, Part 1 of the Jacobsens Tariff. She then discussed who can apply and the customs' requirements. "The facilitation of industry training and development programmes is one of the strategic initiatives of TIKZN", said Mr Zamo Gwala, CEO, Trade & Investment KZN.
"Information sharing sessions such as this is critical in support of growth and development in the KZN chemical hub", concluded Gwala.