5 May 2010 – South Africa has targeted some of the world’s fastest growing economies, such as China, to reach a minimum target of 115 billion rand ($15.49 billion) in foreign investment projects by 2013, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday.

"Targeted potential sources of FDI (foreign direct investment) will include China, India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, the USA and Middle East," Davies said in his budget vote speech to parliament.

"We anticipate that the work programme will translate over the next three years into an investment pipeline of 115 billion rand (worth) of projects," he said.

Although the targets were ambitious they were "achievable and realistic", Davies added.

Africa’s largest economy is emerging from its first recession in almost two decades, where its export and manufacturing capacity shrank significantly as a result of a global economic slowdown and lower demand.

Sadiq Jaffer, chief director at government-linked Trade and Investment South Africa, said there was major interest in the energy sector, particularly renewable energy which had the potential to contribute thousands of megawatts to an ailing national power grid.

Jaffer said they were looking at a combination of greenfields and brownfields projects, with the first deal expected to be signed in 2010.

"It will be signed within this year definitely. Who with, we obviously can’t say," he told reporters.

Jaffer said they were looking at a merger between foreign players with local partners, so that investments could be sustained over the longer period.

South Africa is increasingly looking at renewable power sources such as solar and wind to help alleviate a chronic power shortage that has hit the key mining sector and cost the economy billions of dollars.