Innovation and education key to success

09 November 2007 | Story by Myolisi Gophe

Be innovative: Dr Christoph Leitl, president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, addresses a seminar at UCT.

Education, innovation and environmental protection are key to South Africa's competency in the global market and the country's economic growth, according to Dr Christoph Leitl, president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Speaking at a seminar, Austria's Benefits from European Integration: Vienna, the hub for East and West, organised by UCT's School of Economics on 7 November, Leitl said the best investment lies in education.

"A new machine devalues in five years, but if you educate young people you will have them for fifty years."

Leitl, who holds various leadership positions, outlined the role Austria played in improving the European economy, and the similarities between his home country and South Africa. He said that South Africa needs to develop innovative new products and services and protect the environment for future generations by promoting sustainable economic processes.

These could help the country realise its ambitious goal to halve the 26% unemployment rate by 2012.

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