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Davos to look at new reality

Categories: HEADLINES, Housing & Living Conditions, Poverty
IMC highlights SA at WEF

It is a different South Africa which is going to the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.


Pride and patriotism have been enhanced by the excellent hosting of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, it survived the world-wide recession better than most countries, rejoins the UN’s Security Council, is now part of the emerging market leading countries – having been invited to join BRIC – and has a new definitive economic growth plan.

“The continuing rise of countries like China and India and the re-look at pure free market economic thinking post the recession means that the world is facing a new reality. The weight of finance, trade and influence is shifting south as well as eastward; the world has become more complex and interconnected.

“These are the fundamentals underlying this year’s meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,” says Miller Matola, CEO of the International Marketing Council, custodian of Brand South Africa whose express mandate is to build the country’s nation brand reputation in order to improve global competitiveness.

The annual gathering runs from 26-30 January. It will be attended by key ministers - Finance’s Pravin Gordhan, Economic Planning’s Ebrahim Patel, Trade and Industries’ Rob Davies, Energy’s Dipuo Peters, Tourism’s Marthinus van Schalkwyk and Water and Environmental’s Edna Molewa. President Zuma will lead this high-powered Team South Africa that includes the country’s business leaders.

Says Matola: “The annual meeting provides a platform for the rethinking of the present and the exploration of responding strategies and solutions to challenges on the ground. Leaders from government, industry, academia, civil society and the media will share this unrivalled platform to shape the global agenda for the coming year.

“The unrivalled changes over the past year around the world have shaped this year’s theme, which is ‘Shared Norms for the New Reality’. Clearly this will be more than just a gathering of global leaders.

“The fact that the cabinet members who have to lead South Africa to higher economic growth rates will be in Davos, is an indication of how vital the meeting is,” says Matola.

He points out that the new National Growth Plan puts employment at the heart of government’s priorities while working toward an even more competitive, fairer and socially cohesive economy. This will be done by collaboration between government, labour and business.

“South Africa does this recognising that its destiny is linked with that of the rest of Africa - the continent of the future to which investment and trade flows are increasingly going.

“Davos is a golden opportunity to build on the solid foundations which exist in South Africa and focus attention on the expected burst in growth in the rest of the continent and the critical role the country is poised to play in that growth,” says Matola. “We are the fastest growth region after China and India and are at the forefront of driving regional integration efforts.” 


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