The European House-Ambrosetti is launching a South Africa-Italy Summit that will take place from October 2 to 3 2014 at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.
The purpose is to create an annual gathering to foster a strong, long-lasting partnership between entrepreneurs and enterprises of the two countries and between South Africa and Italy.
The inaugural summit will bring together 100 selected CEOs, leading economists and governmental authorities from the two countries.
“I have learned on different continents, as an international strategy consultant, that this approach – to build a community – is the only way of creating the necessary trust, confidence, and shared strategic vision for increasing significant investments in foreign countries,” said Paolo Borzatta from the European House-Ambrosetti.
The bilateral trade between South Africa and Italy had a total value of R51.5bn in 2013 and the organisers feel there is much more potential.
The approach of the summit will be to focus on the strengths of both countries to exploit the opportunities to grow together and faster.
After in-depth research, analysis and discussions with industry leaders from both countries, a framework for key opportunities has been developed to address specific needs in selected sectors.
The inaugural summit will focus on manufacturing, energy and agri-business.
Manufacturing is an important challenge for South Africa. Manufacturing’s share of South Africa’s economy fell from 21.9% in 1992 to 12.4% in 2012.
On the contrary, Italy’s has grown and it is the second highest manufacturing country in the EU with a manufacturing gross added value of €216.5bn.
South Africa is relying on coal and oil for more than 93% of its energy production, while in recent years there have been a major push towards cleaner and renewable energy sources.
There are various opportunities for Italy to partner in programmes on new technologies including smart grids and energy efficiency.
South Africa’s total importation of agri-food products from Italy is less than 1%, making it a huge opportunity for growth.
Italy has extensive experience and expertise to offer South African companies in managing small farms, agri-processing and food packaging.