UK visit crucial for business: Busa

2010-03-04 11:16

THE United Kingdom is one of South Africa’s most important economic

partners, Business Unity (Busa) said yesterday.

“President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the United Kingdom has

presented a unique opportunity for South African business to reawaken its

relationship with the country,” Busa’s vice-president Mthunzi Mdwaba said.

“It is now up to the private sector to build on this momentum,” he

said in a statement.

Mdwaba addressed the SA-UK Business Forum in London yesterday in

what he said had been “a truly historical occasion”.

He was part of the largest ever South African business delegation

to travel on such a mission, with over 200 business people participating.

“There is no more concrete demonstration of the strong support for

the ongoing partnership between our two countries than such a strong showing

from the private sector,” Mdwaba said.

He said South African business was well represented in the

delegation from all industry sectors, namely infrastructure, health care,

pharmaceuticals, media and culture, transport, mining, oil and gas, housing,

construction, banking, ICT, financial services skills and education as well as

human capital development.

Also among the delegation were emerging players who were keen to

diversify their investment portfolios and co-operate with the British to forge

new relationships, he said.

“Over the next days, there will be a joint identification of

strategic level issues that need to be addressed in order to create a more

conducive climate for doing business.”

He said that one-on-one business meetings would take place today at

South Africa House to build on initial contacts that had been established.

During his address to the Forum yesterday, Mdwaba said there were

99 days before the Fifa 2010 World Cup took place.

“We will come away from the hosting of 2010 with considerable

experience and knowledge within the South African business community.

“This could be usefully shared with those in the UK who will be

involved with the hosting of the 2012 Olympics . . . we must leverage this for

reciprocal benefit,” he added.

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