Tag Archives: BRICS

South Africa is open for tourism and business


The emphatic message coming from the Department of Tourism during the recent Meetings Africa gathering is that South Africa is open for business..

Meeting Africa is recognised as Africa’s leading business and tourism trade show, and appeals to influential buyers from around the globe.

It’s a flagship marketing effort of South African Tourism (SAT), and focuses primarily on the so-called MICE (meetings, incentives, conference, and exhibitions) industry, with products and solutions that catch the attention of local and international buyers alike.

Meetings Africa 2012 at the same time saw the roll-out of the National Convention Bureau (NCB) which is intending to play a vital role in harnessing national tourism initiatives.

“The NCB will prove to add significant value to the country’s business tourism industry,” stated tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, “and will strengthen and support efforts already being made to drive expansion in business tourist arrivals to make South Africa a truly global force.”

Van Schalkwyk remarked that through the prosperous hosting of major events including the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the recent COP17 climate change conference, along with other sporting, business and tourism events, South Africa has built its credentials as a accredited global host.

He went on to state that South Africa carries with it an advantage in that the country has world-class business and conference facilities, but in addition exceptional leisure tourism attractions along with hospitable and friendly people.


Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

The NCB was started in November 2011 and is led by executive director Amanda Kotze-Nhlapho, who joined up with SAT following a successful tenure as head of convention bureau and events at Cape Town Routes Unlimited.

“We are convinced that the industry is in a position to contribute to the economy,” she explained.

The NCB are able to offer services which include help and support with the planning of conventions, all facets of the bidding process, and on-site event services.

Welcome to South Africa

A presentation by Mabeka Makola, SAT’s brand experience manager, provided specifics about the organisation’s SAT’s Welcome Campaign, geared towards inspiring all South Africans to welcome visitors warmly as a result inspire them to return.

He stated that the perception of the country is a vital element not merely in bringing visitors back, but also in inspiring them to pass on the word about South Africa back home.

“It’s about every single person working together to highlight the small things that will likely have a much better influence on visitor perception in the long run.”

The initiative is going into its second phase of execution, which brings the consumer on board. Phase one was concerned with talks with the trade.

“We have to partner with small businesses to make certain that this campaign actually reaches the full potential, simply because its success depends on partnerships,” said Makola.

Significance of the BRICS partnership to South Africa
A Meetings Africa panel discussion highlighted the role South Africa’s BRICS membership has played in fuelling trade and investment in the country.

South Africa officially joined the bloc of emerging economic powers in April 2011.

Soni, Brand South Africa chairperson, told the guests the fact that the move to join BRICS has allowed South Africa to connect with the big growth economies in the world, and additionally tap into their profitable markets.

“President Jacob Zuma has shared that since we joined the BRICS family, our exports grew four-fold into those countries and our imports into the same countries doubled,” said Soni. “It therefore makes business sense to play with the largest growing economies in the world.”

She went ahead and added that to make the most of these business opportunities, long-term strategies were needed, and these were in place.


Demidova, general director at Expert Avis Marketing, pointed out that there is remarkable interest in South Africa from the Russian side. “Russians have an interest in what is happening in this country, and are checking out the destination as a possible event alternative.”

She hinted at the likelihood of direct flights between South Africa and Russia in the foreseeable future, likening the idea to the recent non-stop flight to China introduced by South African Airways.

South Africa and China have established bilateral agreements in numerous areas, including transport, education, housing, infrastructure, and water resource management.

The introduction of non-stop flights between South Africa and Russia promises to facilitate business and leisure travel in between the two countries, stated Demidova.

She mentioned that South Africa will need to continue to keep focus on issues of accessibility to the country, such as visa requirements, flight length and destination promotion. She disclosed statistics from Russia which reveal that since Latin America dropped visa requirements, travel from Russia to that region improved significantly.

Ji, Civic Group founder from China, shared Demidova’s sentiment, and suggested that the Chinese people would like to know much more about South Africa and how to do business with the country.

“Our emphasis is on cooperation and seeking for a win-win situation,” she said. “We are extremely open to forming new partnerships and are focusing on the long term interest.”

Devarajan, president of India’s largest travel group Kuoni India, mentioned that there are numerous factors to take into consideration when organizing a MICE tour.

“The planner wants a focus on logistics, access and customising an itinerary to suit the traveller, while the tourist wants to see new things, experience new sites and enjoy nightlife and shopping. Corporate visitors want more bang for their buck and are concerned about safety” he explained.

When it comes to Indian visitors to South Africa, Devarajan mentioned that their numbers would increase if hotels made available more Indian products, such as Indian television channels and cuisine.

The harsh truth for business tourism, said Soni, is the fact that South Africans will need to speak with one voice.

“Business, government, society and the media really have to communicate accurate messages, and we all need to be ambassadors for our country.”

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com


BRICS a boost to Brand South Africa


South Africa’s ascendance to the BRICS group of key emerging economies can be described as a enhancement to the country’s brand, Miller Matola, CEO of the International Marketing Council, stated at an IMC roundtable discussion with London’s Financial Times.

“One way or another this will assist us accomplish our country’s growth objectives,” Matola said. He added that being a member of BRICS – the economic alliance that includes Brazil, Russia, India and China – positions South Africa on the centre stage of global change, as opposed to on the sideline, he explained.

“This assists us as a brand. What it really says to the world is, think about South Africa as a significant economic player.”

The roundtable event brought together South Africa’s top corporate executives and politicians to look at South Africa’s function in BRICS as well as the business opportunities membership provided to the country along with the rest of the African continent. It included a panel discussion between top CEOs, some of the finest minds in South African business: Maria Ramos of the Absa banking group, Jerry Vilakazi of Business Unity South Africa, Frontier Advisory’s Martyn Davies, and Benjamin Mophatlane of Business Connexion. The discussion was facilitated by Financial Times bureau chief Andrew England.



Almost all speakers made the point that, in combination with South Africa’s robust economy and developed infrastructure, the country’s standing as the gateway to the rest of Africa presented it an invaluable function in BRICS.

Davies made the point that the ‘S’ in BRICS really should stand for SADC, and not South Africa, making reference to the Southern African Development Community of 15 African states, including Botswana, the DRC, Angola and Tanzania. “This relationship will not merely benefit South Africa, but also the continent, simply because it will certainly open up trade in Africa,” he explained.

Talking prior to the discussion, deputy minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim stated that while South Africa does not technically represent the continent in BRICS, its regular membership would undoubtedly provide Africa a stronger voice, not just within BRICS, but additionally across all international platforms where the BRICS countries are independently represented.



He added that South Africa’s accession to BRICS can be described as natural fit. “Our positive characteristics that put us in a different category include our role as a key economic player in Africa, our mineral and industrial output, our electricity generation capacity, our road, rail, ports, communication infrastructure, our sophisticated financial markets and service industries, our manufacturing capacity, our membership in the G20, and our level of industrialisation,” he said. “All these, and many more, profile us in a very positive way.”

The membership evolved as the result of two years of in-depth planning along with a joint efforts by the public and private sector, Ebrahim said, adding that South Africa should not undervalue its status as a deserving member of BRICS.

“We concur that we do not have a significant world population size when compared with other BRICS member states, including the high-digit growth rates experienced by its BRICS partners,” he said.

“We move from the philosophy that, there are characteristics that fellow BRICS member-states see in us, that we choose to overlook or undermine. We furthermore believe that, if we consistently profile ourselves as that small country on the southern tip of Africa, we will go nowhere.”

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com


21st World Economic Forum on Africa commences

The 21st World Economic Forum on Africa, which is to be attended by in excess of 900 participants from 60 countries, commences in Cape Town.

The three-day conference will focus on precisely how sub-Saharan Africa can maintain its growth path and turn into one of the pillars of global growth and demand.

To be organised within the subject, Shaping Africa’s Role in the New Reality, the conference is going to take place against the background of the growing global acknowledgment of Africa’s development potential.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the lead minister for WEF, remarked that in redefining the nation’s association with the world, South Africa’s message was indeed shifting beyond the focus on its abundant cultural diversity.

“We are currently showcasing our accomplishments in the areas of science, technological innovation, financial services and our acknowledgement as a systemically crucial member of the international community.

“In our hosting of WEF Africa, we will with certainty declare that South Africa is definitely responding to the new reality,” he said.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Gordhan mentioned the nation is without a doubt perfectly positioned in the changing poles of power and economic growth, not merely as an emerging market, but more as a leading economy on a continent this is certainly an invaluable partner within the global economy as well as being home to roughly 15 percent of the world’s population.

“All of us are formidable supporters of inclusive growth, job creation, and the diversification of the economy,” the minister claimed.

He added the fact that South Africa has been actively taking part and adding to positions developed in global policy making.

“We may also be assuming a progressively more significant place in the global arena. We are one of the non-permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, the sole African nation to be a member of the G20, as well as not too long ago, we have obtained a seat at the table of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa forum (BRICS), which, with its inhabitants in excess of 3 billion people, functions as a significant platform for global dialogue and cooperation.”

Certainly one of concerns to be talked about at the WEF Africa will most certainly be just how African economies will be able to mitigate their exposure to the volatility and unpredictability in commodity prices and ways in which the continent can bolster its voice in multilateral community forums much like the G20 and the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17). The COP 17 conference is going to be organised in Durban in December.

President Jacob Zuma

As being the largest economic system on the continent, South Africa has long been and definitely will continue to utilize its seat on multilateral fora, along with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G20, to boost Africa’s interests.

South Africa will in addition take advantage of its membership of BRICS to improve Africa’s voice in the world.

Africa’s enhanced economic prospects have mainly been due to steps undertaken by African nations themselves to get rid of political conflicts, improve governance and develop improved macroeconomic conditions.

Despite the fact that Africa will definitely reap the benefits of globalisation, which is certainly most likely to spur demand for commodities, the continent’s expansion into the future will probably be influenced by social and demographic shifts currently underway.

The South African Government delegation to WEF Africa will be headed by President Jacob Zuma, who is going to be accompanied by the following ministers:

* Pravin Gordhan: Minister of Finance
* Trevor Manuel: Minister of National Planning: The Presidency
* Rob Davies: Minister of Trade & Industry
* Ebrahim Patel: Minister of Economic Development
* Tina Joemat-Pettersson: Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries
* Malusi Gigaba: Minister of Public Enterprise
* Marthinus van Schalkwyk: Minister of Tourism
* Dipuo Peters: Minister of Energy
* Edna Molewa: Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
* Naledi Pandor: Minister of Science and Technology

Several South African business people will in addition participate in the WEF conference.

Source: BuaNews


Tourism to generate more than 10 000 work opportunities

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

The National Department of Tourism is going to bring about 10 270 full time work opportunities in the current financial year, along with roughly 530 small rural enterprises will most likely at the same time be supported, according to Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Presenting his department’s Budget Vote, van Schalkwyk said the work opportunities will likely be created via the Social Responsibility Implementation (SRI) programme and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP).

The department in addition planned to invest R253 million in 2011 financial year to finance tourism projects which had been aligned to the Expanded Public Works Programme.

“We believe that this will likely make it easier for the transfer of wealth to poor and rural communities by amongst others guaranteeing ownership of assets as well as the facilitation of skills development,” he explained.

Strategies were in addition going ahead to boost the volume of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from 7 million in 2009 to 15 million by 2020, not to mention tourism’s overall contribution towards the economy from R189 billion in 2009 to R499 billion by 2020.

The quantity of domestic tourists may possibly also increase from 14.6 million in 2009 to 18 million by 2020 and in addition create 225 000 new jobs by 2020.

Van Schalkwyk explained that government bodies would undoubtedly at the same time be utilizing the department’s budget to promote new growth by being able to access markets unlocked by the World Cup.

“In this perspective, we envisage maximising the importance of our involvement in numerous international and regional tourism platforms. We will look for cooperation together with other African partners to be able to make a difference to the economic prosperity of our continent as a result of tourism.”

The department is going to further develop a Tourism International Relations Strategy to tactically guide our events at multi-lateral level, which includes South Africa’s involvement in the BRICS formation.

The travel and leisure sector, subsequently, also embraces the projected launch by South African Airways of a non-stop service to New York in May 2011 as well as a direct service to China towards the end of 2011, in addition to Air France’s scheduled launch of a completely new thrice weekly non-stop service from Paris to Cape Town in November 2011, stated the minister.

With regards to responsible and low carbon tourism, van Schalkwyk explained he has been worried about the deficiency of harmonisation of accreditation certification and labelling within the tourism industry.

There was clearly a number of “very admirable” private sector and civil society driven initiatives which have produced systems of integrity, but “most of these are typically in silos and really should find broader application.”

“This regulatory vacuum with regards to the tourism sector regrettably produces the space for abuse and green-washing. Furthermore, it is not going to effectively reward those who work in the industry that do engage in leadership functions simply by investing in low carbon, ethical, clean and green tourism transformation,” said van Schalkwyk.

The department is going to in the near future publish the National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism in the current financial year. The minister explained these kinds of benchmarks will deal with numerous proportions of green and responsible tourism, which includes biodiversity conservation, energy consumption and water use.

Source: BuaNews


All new geopolitical period for Africa with SA in Brics

South Africa’s addition to the Brics comes with added new geopolitical relevance for the continent, proclaims International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Brics – the formidable collection of emerging trading markets Brazil, Russia, India and China, along with SA being the most recent member – is without a doubt acquiring and maintaining muscle amid international investors, and in addition the African continent will as a result reap some benefits as a result of a greater depth of cooperation in a variety of areas.

Briefing mass media following on from the Sanya summit, Nkoana-Mashabane proclaimed Africa in its entirety would most likely reap the benefits of South Africa being a member of Brics, specifically in areas which include economic integration, trade and investment and improving good governance.

“Our fortunes [as African countries] are generally connected. As much as we did not approach the AU to seek out a mandate to join Brics, SA diplomats speak out for the well being of SA as well as the African continent in general,” Nkoana-Mashabane told a media briefing.

Nkoana-Mashabane stated with the continent accepted as a developing region, Africa can certainly anticipate to reap some benefits economically in areas which include agriculture, infrastructure, IT as well as assist Africa to benefit as a result of a great deal more equitable world governance bodies.

She pointed out that Brics’ drive for the reform of the global institutions of governance as well as the UN will assure that African issues enjoy centre-stage in deliberations within the UN Security Council, the IMF and World Bank.

President Jacob Zuma

The meeting, which contributed to bringing together the five fastest growing economies, contributed to a statement being issued by Brics elaborating on their vision for common development and shared prosperity, as well as put forward several new campaigns for global economic governance.

The three-day get together, that concluded on Friday, additionally called for the swift achievement of the targets for the reform of the International Monetary Fund accepted during the recent G20 summit, and reiterated that the governing structure of the international financing institution should preferably mirror the changes in the world economy.

The leaders promised to support the change and improvement in international monetary systems for the creation of a stable, reliable and broad-based international reserve currency system.

The five Brics nations made a decision to hold another meeting of high-level representatives later this year in China to talk about security issues, embark on joint research on economic and trade issues, promote cooperation in sports and encourage collaboration in scientific, technological and innovation cooperation.

Source: BuaNews, csmonitor.com, thenewage.co.za, news4u.co.in,