Collaborative programme to drive SA agenda at WEF 2010

In a year where the world’s attention is already focused on
South Africa, a unified and focused South African delegation to WEF
has been a major focus for the International Marketing Council
(Brand South Africa) as it works towards raising the South Africa’s role in
influencing the global economic agenda and building the
country’s reputation as a trade and investment destination

26 January 2010, Johannesburg: The positioning of South Africa as both a globally competitive trade and investment destination and dominant developing economy forms the backbone of the formation of a public private partnership spearheaded by the International Marketing Council (Brand South Africa) at this year’s World  Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Business and government has partnered to form “Team South Africa” at Davos and the amalgamation aims to position South Africa as “the next big thing”, while taking advantage of the world’s focus on the country as host to the FIFA 2010 World Cup. The partnership also aims to drive dialogue on the African agenda and will be encouraging WEF delegates to “look South for fresh solutions to a better world”, by experiencing the magnitude of the country’s trade and investment offerings.

The emergence of the BASIC group-or-G 5 puts South Africa at the cutting edge of a new global paradigm which could help reach consensus on key issues such as trade, poverty reduction, the global financial system and the growing tensions around limited resources in a finite world and ease fundamental changes in the global order with minimum disruption.

“This is a conversation we want to engender and seed at the World Economic Forum said IMC Chairperson, Anitha Soni.  With the rise of China, India, and Brazil among others as economic powerhouses, the global order is fast becoming more democratic. South Africa may not rank with these countries in GDP terms, but based on its track record, experience and position within Africa. Its voice is an important and influential one”

She said, “Business and government coming together to optimise the country’s investment in this global event is a demonstration of the IMC Board’s inclusionary approach. Benefits of an innovative and collaborative approach are fruits of a strongly driven vision during the planning phase of this initiative,” Soni said.

Represented in the partnership is the South African Presidency, International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), Government Communication and Information Service (GCIS), Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), Discovery, Old Mutual, ABSA, Telkom, Nedbank, MTN, Sasol, Investec, Transnet and First Rand. The South African delegation includes members of the newly appointed IMC board.

“Collaboration is undoubtedly a critical ingredient of our success at this year’s World Economic Forum. South Africa can influence the conversation amongst the twenty percent influencers with eighty percent of impact only when working together at WEF, especially given the importance of the constituency,” said Business Unity SA (BUSA) chief executive Jerry Vilikazi.

Fresh solutions for a better world

“In order to engender a significant impact beyond discussions seeded at WEF itself, participants in the forum are confronted with the question as to which solutions will alter the global economy and bring a positive impact to all. Addressing new ways of doing things is expected to have a direct bearing on how countries will be able to improve their global competitiveness.  It is therefore important to ensure that any global solutions are developed by all stakeholders with the inclusion of a strong African representation. This is unashamedly the South African agenda at Davos,” said Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies.

He added that these so called “fresh solutions for a better world” are more often than not simple concepts with a tangible impact and require nothing less than thinking defined by seeing solutions and not barriers.

“South Africa is playing an increasingly significant leadership role in global decision-making, having recently contributed to easing consensus on pressing global sustainability issues during the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit,” Davies said.

Team SA to drive growth for all at WEF

“As active participants in the WEF agenda, South Africa is aware that in a changing, divided and uncertain world, we begin to matter more because we are a proven connector; a bridge not just to Africa, the last great investment frontier, but between old and emerging powers,” said BLSA CEO, Michael Spicer.

A successful delegation will help create the springboard for South Africa’s growth, simultaneously improving the country’s overall reputation at the highest levels of global decision-making. According to Spicer, the partnership is the beginning of a long-term public-private collaboration that delivers results-led dialogue between business and government.

South Africa’s tenacious, yet diplomatic experience is placing the country in an advantageous position to take on a leadership role through which it offers meaningful, fresh solutions to challenges facing the world today.

“It is the aim of this partnership to increase our global competitiveness rating by contributing to the setting of the global agenda, which is, in essence, firmly aligned to the goals of the IMC. Both business and government is well poised to exploit this focus towards profiling the sound economic fundamentals of a country, and one that is ready to play a vital role in the economic growth and development of the region,” concluded Spicer.


For further information:
Margaret Dingalo
Director: Stakeholder Relations

International Marketing Council of South Africa
Tel: +27 11 483 0122
Web: Brand South Africa

Trevor Chueu
Account Manager: International Marketing Council
Tel: +27 82 446 1831