Spotlight On Small Business Development

The main entrance to the International Convent...

The 37th International Small Business Congress, taking place in Johannesburg from 15-18 September, will help to chart the way for small business development in South Africa, with a particular focus on emerging industries.

Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the congress would provide a platform “to benchmark and draw lessons from both the developed and developing countries with a view of sharpening policy development and high impact programmes in the South African SMME sector”.

It will be the first time that the congress is held on the African soil, and more than 1 000 international delegates are expected to descend on the Sandton Convention Centre to discuss the future and role of SMEs in the global economy.

International Small Business Congress president Catherine Swift will be joining speakers from South Africa, Canada, England, Nigeria, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Cameroon, Japan, France, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and India.

The theme of the congress will be “Fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide”.

Davies said this theme was “of particular importance to South Africa, especially as we widen the market for South African goods and services through stronger focus on exports to the region and other economic groupings such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

via allAfrica.com: South Africa: Spotlight On Small Business Development.

Small Business Congress

CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 11JUN2009 - Rob Davies...

The 37th International Small Business Congress, taking place in Johannesburg from 15-18 September, will help to chart the way for small business development in South Africa, with a particular focus on emerging industries.

Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the congress would provide a platform “to benchmark and draw lessons from both the developed and developing countries with a view of sharpening policy development and high impact programmes in the South African SMME sector”.

It will be the first time that the congress is held on the African soil, and more than 1 000 international delegates are expected to descend on the Sandton Convention Centre to discuss the future and role of SMEs in the global economy.

International Small Business Congress president Catherine Swift will be joining speakers from South Africa, Canada, England, Nigeria, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Cameroon, Japan, France, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and India.

The theme of the congress will be “Fostering small business in new and high-potential industries worldwide”.

Davies said this theme was “of particular importance to South Africa, especially as we widen the market for South African goods and services through stronger focus on exports to the region and other economic groupings such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

via Spotlight on small business development – SouthAfrica.info.

Making jobs for people

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 21:  In t...

“The real issue is not the target, the real issue is can we mobilise all of the South African resources… in order that all of us do what we can to put people into some kind of job,” Gordhan told the Foreign Correspondents Association in Johannesburg.

This included government, business and civil society.”We are not doing enough in South Africa as a whole,” he said.

The government had set the target of five million jobs by 2020, but Gordhan said it was more important to get everyone into some kind of job.

“In respect of our younger people, to have the basic experience of working, that is the objective at this point in time.”

Job creation was not the sole preserve of government, he said.

“You cant just look at government, because 70% of those jobs must come from the private sector.”

Its the private sector that must create jobs. For them to do this they must invest.”Gordhan said businesses had around R500 billion in profit surplus lying in banks, which they should be investing. Business, however, was risk averse, which he said was to some extent understandable.

Recent comments by First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan were quite instructive, Gordhan said. Gordhan said Jordaan had said South African businesses needed to take a medium or long-term view, not just react to short-term risks.

“There are immense prospects that other countries are seeing on the African continent, that we ourselves are not seeing adequately,” Gordhan said.Business should also be taking advantage of opportunities offered by South Africas membership of BRICS – the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa economic partnership.

Gordhan said there needed to be frank talk about what was holding up investment, especially as the economy was recovering.

“The globe is not going to collapse… after every crisis there is a recovery. We are in a period of recovery, just a very uncertain one… [its] not very smooth.”

When asked whether South Africas labour laws were restricting job creation, Gordhan said there were efficient structures in South Africa for raising these issues.

“Whichever side has concerns should use those forums and create a climate for dialogue… and resolution so that we can move ahead.”

He said international organisations had different views on whether South Africas labour legislation was rigid.

“And by and large the view would be that we are not an overly rigid economy.”

He said anyone with concerns about the proposed labour law amendments should approach Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant as she had an open door.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill were adopted by Cabinet last month. They would now be considered by the Parliamentary portfolio committee on labour before being submitted to the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for adoption.

This was after over a year of debate on the two bills in the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

via All of South Africa needs to create jobs: Gordhan – Times LIVE.

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South Africa in the Free Zone

Jacob Zuma and Jakaya Kikwete - Africa's Role ...

The visit to Oman of the President of South Africa, Dr Jacob Zuma, is part of a long and well orchestrated process designed to bring the two nations together in friendship, trade and tourism. The links being strengthened are the result of lengthy contacts and negotiations, which started with the establishment of a South African Embassy in the Sultanate. Oman was fortunate in South Africa’s choice and the South African diplomatic team went about the task of establishing closer ties between the two nations with zeal and enthusiasm.

The visit of the South African President this week is thus putting the seal on a friendship now well established and given the maritime links of both nations it is fitting that the South Africans are putting much energy in establishing links with the ever growing Port of Sohar and it’s free zone. Much work has been done at a diplomatic and commercial level to organise a very substantial investment in Free Zone Sohar, which is now clearly going to bear fruit.

Private industry interests both in South Africa and Oman have been working on plans to build a vast cold storage facility in the Free Zone for the storage of fresh produce, which will allow fresh products from South Africa to be exported to the whole region. When the facility is completed it will mean that Oman will no longer have to import South African fresh fruit from Dubai. Instead Oman will be exporting South African fruit and fresh products.

The link will be with Johannesburg Market, a wholly owned entity of the city of Johannesburg Municipality, which deals in over 1 million tonnes of fresh produce every year, making it the largest market of this type in the world in terms of volume.

This however is just one example of close co-operation. There are many more. As South Africa’s current Ambassador to the Sultanate, Yusuf Saloojee pointed out the recently signed Partnership Forum Agreement signed by the two nations allows for co-operation in the fields of education, science, technology and agriculture. Part of the visit too is a forum at the Al Bustan Hotel where prominent Omani and South African business representatives are meeting today.

There is also scope for tourism development, especially if direct flights can be established. With South Africa concentrating these days on increasing links through the Brics group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) it is becoming increasingly important commercially, politically and diplomatically. Oman has a powerful friend.

via Welcome South Africa | Oman Observer