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High-level leaders to meet at the South Africa-Italy Summit

Up to 250 high-powered delegates will attend the fourth edition of the South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba, which will be held from 24 to 25 October 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
The summit is organised by The European House – Ambrosetti Group (TEH-A), a leading Italian management consulting firm. The company was named for the fourth consecutive year as the no. 1 private think tank in Italy, ranking in the European top ten. It was ranked in the World top one-hundred most-esteemed independents, out of 6,846 Think Tanks globally, in the University of Pennsylvania 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

The summit was inspired by the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the governments of South Africa and Italy at the “Regions of Africa Europe Forum” in Taormina in 2012. The two governments committed themselves to promoting bi-lateral trade and investment between their countries. The inaugural Summit was held in Cape Town in 2014 and the platform has grown since then, with CEOs, chairmen, ambassadors, and cabinet ministers attending the summit.

From left Mr Nico de Kock, Grown Consulting , Director General in the Gauteng Premier’s Office, Ms Phindile Baleni & Mr Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner of The European House of Ambrosetti, celebrating the partnership between Italy & Gauteng
The aim of this initiative is to build a permanent, exclusive and influential community of business and political leaders from South Africa and Italy to encourage cooperation to grow their enterprises, their countries, and their continents,” says Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner at The European House - Ambrosetti. 

We believe that once a tight-knit network of leaders from the two countries has been established, we will see many business deals flowing out of this network in the next 10 to 15 years. We have already seen big transactions being concluded by companies that connected at our summits.”

One of the summit’s highlights will be the launch of the exclusive TEH-A CEO Community – African Chapter, for CEOs of South African and multinational companies operating in South Africa. The TEH-A CEO Community is similar to Ambrosetti Club set up by TEH-A in Italy in 1999, which strictly invites CEOs of Italian and multinationals companies operating in Italy to be members. The Club has 300 members and organises 60 meetings a year.

At the moment, we are aiming to invite 30 CEOs to be part of the TEH-A CEO Community in South Africa. The community aims to become the highest visible and exclu­sive platform where top-level interaction among members will be its strongest point of differentiation. It will be the most important and elite gathering of the leaders of South Africa and of those operating in the country, but in the long run it will invite prominent leaders from other African countries to be members,” says Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner at The European House - Ambrosetti.

Over 40 leading speakers will attend the annual South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba , which will cover important topics ranging from investment opportunities in railway transportation, energy infrastructure and pharmaceuticals, to the implications of “Brexit” on relations between South Africa and European Union, and how Africa and Europe can work together to leverage project financing and public-private partnerships to boost long-term growth.

Italy is among the top investors in Africa and its total trade with the continent is growing, with export value surpassing $6.3bn in 2015. Italy mainly trades in machine­ries and equipment, vehicles, chemicals and consumers goods.

We believe that this volume and value of trade could be increased if a proper platform is put in place to facilitate trade and investment. Many European companies have not been successful when it comes to investing in Africa. By their nature, Italians are cautious about investing in markets they don’t understand. They prefer to trade and distribute their products through local distributors. Platforms such as the summit and TEH-A CEO Community will unlock investment into South Africa from Italian companies and South African investment into Europe,” said Nico De Kock, TEH-A Representative in South Africa.

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