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Business Update: Issue 13

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Progressive leader - Issue 17

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Remarks by African National Congress Treasurer-General Mathews Phosa at the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum (PBF) hosted lunch in honour of the Rt Hon, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Bear and his delegation of officials and business leaders in Sandton Today (1 September 2011). Among the guests was British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Nicola Brewer

1 September 2011

The British High Commissioner,
Lord Mayor,
Other dignitaries,
Friends and comrades:

Let me thank all of you for being here today-and let’s make this a real working lunch aimed at cementing the business relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Let us all make our own individual contributions towards our aim of doubling the bi-lateral trade between South Africa and the UK by 2015. It is in the interest of both our countries that we do so.

My own relationship with the United Kingdom goes back to the early days of my Premiership in Mpumalanga when DFID funded a unit in my office that did fantastic work in allowing me to manage the transition between the pre-1994 provincial administrations to a democratic dispensation.

Since I became Treasurer General in 2007, I have also been able to use the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum to interact substantially with business leaders and businessmen, here and abroad and frequently in the United Kingdom.

You might be interested to know, that the PBF, which was formed in 2005, now has nearly 6000 businesses as members, and it is serving as a useful and credible platform of engagement between the ANC in government and the private sector, both nationally and internationally. Incidentally I will lead a 100 strong PBF business delegation to the PRC next week, one of many international visits that the PBF has organized in the past few years. We also appreciate the excellent working relationship we have with UKTI.

I am impressed by the fact that the Lord Mayors’ delegation is so focused on financial services and your aim of supporting the massive infrastructure roll out that our government is planning.

It is a matter that we take so seriously that the President himself has assumed the Chairmanship of the recently announced Commission on Infrastructure.

I am also impressed by the work that your Trade Commission has done here in cementing relationships with black South African companies inter alia in health care, information technology and other areas.

I am told that you are working towards “South Africanizing” your operations here and deeply appreciate the role that you are playing in empowering local companies here, but also on the global stage.

The United Kingdom is a trusted friend of South African commerce and industry, and as the ANC, the Progressive Business Forum and as government, we will do whatever we can to facilitate access, partnerships and profit here.

Our current partnerships in the developing world are not to the exclusion of our relationship with the United Kingdom and we deeply appreciate this initiative by the Lord Mayor’s office, and UKTI and the inclusion of our Progressive Business Forum to further cement this relationship.

I will be on a visit to London, arranged by the PBF in mid-October and much look forward to take further some of the initiatives that I have no doubt will be created here today and to engage with you all again during my visit.

Thank you and enjoy your visit.

Background:

The ANC’s Progressive Business Forum has grown since its formation in 2005, to close to 6000 subscribers. It serves as a platform of dialogue between the ANC, Government and the business sector and functions locally and internationally.
In its efforts, the Progressive Business Forum endeavours to give support to the objectives of the ANC, at a practical business-to-business level, by creating, inter alia, bi-lateral trade platforms in order to assist in promoting trade and investment.

Bearing witness to the PBF’s expanding global reach, the largest PBF trade delegation yet, some 100 business people, is due to leave in a few day’s time to attend the 7th Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo in Changchun, China.

Issued by:
PBF
African National Congress
Chief Albert Luthuli House

Enquiries:
Daryl Swanepoel 079 891 0173
Renier Schoeman 082 334 7713

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