South Africa is the most developed and commercially advanced country in Africa.
South Africa is an industrial powerhouse among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa) and as such is your springboard to business around the world.
Let us say, for example, you live in Russia, China or any other country in the world and you wish to do business in Africa, Europe or any other part of the world. It looks good if you approach these markets as a South African company.
Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have argued for years how to span the bridge between peaceful Europeans from Venus and realist Americans from Mars. The truth is, the debate on our diverging approaches to the challenges of global order has already been overtaken by events. Both Venus and Mars are, after all, part of the same solar system, and subject to the same Newtonian laws of physics. And these increasingly work against the North-Atlantic and Western world. China‘s 1.3 billion population dwarfs that of the EU and the U.S. Europe and America have seen their share of world trade fall to a combined total of below 30 percent in the face of tough competition from India, China, and other key trading nations set on converting their cheap labor industries into technologically sophisticated economies.
Here’s the scary part about Davos: You schlep to this Swiss redoubt expecting to meet a secret colony of people in the know. But turns out they don’t know either. Which is in fact why they’re here, too — to find and interrogate people who do.
This collective “pinging” feels more akin to a high-frequency trading platform than a seminar devoted to improving the state of the world. The cocktail parties are no more than lubricated information markets, where each node is trying to calibrate itself based on information transmitted and received. What emerges about Europe, or social media, or green energy is eventually rendered a mushy consensus. This is what they might call in Davos the market-clearing price of a thought.
So, what was the mushy consensus?
“Not optimistic. But Less Pessimstic.”
Imminent crisis averted in the Eurozone, dozens of CEOs in private interviews struck a remarkably similar tone about the world economy. It’s banal if only for the scramble of phrases: Some spoke of the timeless “caution,” others declared themselves “not pessimistic but not optimistic either” and “hesitant.” The only honest position seems to be this: No one has a clue.
“Governments don’t create growth. They create circumstances.”
Perhaps the most provocative quote of the week, from an unnamed CEO. Such antipathy was in wide circulation across the week, as CEOs variously complained about financial overregulation, competing international standards, and European governments’ inability to change labor and safety-net laws. The struggle over corporate tax dollars — particularly in the strapped U.S. and Europe — is only beginning. There just doesn’t seem much trust left between government and business, which does not bode well.
The annual gathering of the world’s political, economic and business leaders takes place against the backdrop of a sluggish global economic recovery. President Jacob Zuma, who leads the country’s delegation, arrived this morning and will use the platform to promote the country’s vision for 2030, the National Development Plan.
The gloomy weather over the Davos resort is perhaps a reminder of the current difficult global economic condition. Themed, ‘The Resilient Dynamism’, that is what top leaders hope to achieve as they put together their heads to get the global economy back on its feet.
As South Africa tackles its triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, it hopes to use the occasion to lure more investments into the country.