South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) recognises that it needs to focus more on economic diplomacy, including upskilling its diplomats to promote trade and investment.
But this work needs to go further if South Africa is to pursue a foreign policy fit for economic growth and prosperity. There is a broad consensus that it needs to better coordinate the different elements - including business - which have a role to play in economic diplomacy, broadly defined.
One way of doing this, according to Peter Fabricius, would be to merge Dirco and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition into one department managing South Africa’s economic relations. That would be a big step towards a SA Inc. And it might free trade from the dubious grip of industrial policy makers.
Marie-Noelle caught up with the veteran journalist to find out more.
The idea for this conversation came from a discussion paper Peter wrote for the Foundation, which you can read here.
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