Marketing News South Africa

IMC leads top SA business group to Europe

South Africa's search for foreign direct investment, trade and tourism; takes a step forward next month when top business leaders, under the aegis of the Presidential, International Marketing Council (IMC) visit Europe on a high-level business mission. Led by IMC Chair, Wendy Luhabe, the delegation aims to place South Africa at the top of the agenda of the German and British business communities.

The delegation will include Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee, Bheki Sibiya, the CEO of Business Unity SA and Monhla Hlahla, the CEO of the Airports Company of SA.

The IMC delegation will hold three investment conferences in Frankfurt, Munich and London during its week-long visit, starting on 11 June. The visit follows on the very successful Branding South Africa Mission to the United States of America in June 2004.

"Whilst the Institute for International Finance shows that foreign capital flows at US$311bn are at their highest levels since 1997/98; the Reserve Bank reports that South Africa experienced a net outflow of US$1bn last year. We urgently need to turn this around," says Wendy Luhabe.

"Our mission is to demonstrate opportunity and success. We will showcase a country that is alive with possibility and a business environment that will provide investors in South Africa with rich rewards."

IMC Chief Executive Yvonne Johnston says: "We want to present the rich potential of doing business in South Africa. Investing in South Africa allows companies to reach a customer base of more than 170 million people in our immediate region and another 550 million people on the continent of Africa.

"Germany and the United Kingdom have been selected because they are South Africa's biggest trading partners. Our objective is to consolidate that position and explore the opportunities for further growth in two of the world's biggest economies."

Johnston adds that there is a growing interest in South Africa. "Investors see enormous potential - a stable democracy with sophisticated infrastructure and sound macro-economic policies. The Barclays-Absa deal this week again emphasised our country's growing stature in the global financial world.

"We will confront head-on the questions that are asked about the challenges facing South Africa .We want to tell people about the opportunities created by Black Economic Empowerment.

"We will tell them the good news about South Africa and showcase the talents of some of our most respected business leaders," says Johnston.

Bheki Sibiya, the CEO of Business Unity, says he will inform European audiences of the huge potential in doing business with the South African SMME sector. There are an estimated three million small business operating in South Africa and they play a vital role in wealth and job creation.

Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee, says,"there will be considerable global interest in South Africa over the next five years. This visit will introduce the European business community to the numerous opportunities that are opening up for new ventures and investments."

The South African delegation consists of: Wendy Luhabe, chairman of the IMC; Dr Klaus Döring of Siemens South Africa; Ethan Dube, the MD of African Harvest; Dr Hischam El-Agamy, director of IMD International; Jennifer Feinberg of the Industrial Development Corporation; Monhla Hlahla, CEO of the Airports Company of SA; Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee; Mzi Khumalo, the Chairman of Metallon; Dr Chris Landsberg, director of the Centre for Policy Studies; Russell Loubser, CEO of the JSE Securities Exchange; Lesley Maasdorp of Goldman Sachs International; Mpho Makwana, regional executive of Standard Bank; Thabo Masebe, the Chief Director of the GCIS; Mfanu Mfayela, CEO of the SA Contact Centre Community; Raisibi Morathi, the COO of the Industrial Development Corporation; Seth Phalatse, member of the board of Denel; Bheki Sibiya, the CEO of Business Unity SA; Monica Singer, the CEO of Strate; Michael Spicer, executive director of the SA Foundation; Jim Sutcliffe, the CEO of Old Mutual Plc and Yvonne Johnston, CEO of the IMC.

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