Italy's CEOs explore investment opportunities in SA
2 October 2014
Cape Town – Italy’s captains of industry are in South Africa to explore investment opportunities in the energy, manufacturing and agroindustry fields.
Paolo Borzatta, the senior partner at The European House Ambrosetti (T-EHA) - a 50-year-old management consultancy firm – said about 100 CEOs from several Italian firms were in Cape Town on a fact finding mission with the aim of establishing production plants in the country.
T-EHA is in Cape Town to hold its first summit in the African continent, an economic conference which is equivalent to the World Economic Forum meeting that is held annually in Davos.
“We want to use the summit to analyse the [investment] opportunities we can get in South Africa.
“So the purpose of this summit is to also create trust amongst the leaders of the two countries so that they can be able to do business together and build long term relationships,” he said.
He said that the Sub-Saharan Africa was booming, and the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) in the region is expected to grow by 6% by 2015.
Borzatta said South Africa was the hub and a land of investment opportunities.
Energy tops the list of South Africa’s economic agenda, with the country hoping to build 42.3 GW of power by 2030 in order to take the pressure off the ageing infrastructure.
He said there were opportunities in South Africa to produce smart grids that will generate energy that could fulfil the country’s power needs.
He said in the energy as well as the agroindustry fields, cooperation agreements at university level would be pursued between South African and Italian University to research that will assist the training of technicians and farmers.
The universities would also share knowledge in the fields of food security, seed and fertilizers, water management and irrigation.
In the manufacturing sector, Italian businessmen would pursue investment opportunities to establish plants that would also create local jobs.
“We already have plants [in South Africa] and would like to have more joint ventures so that we can invest in other Sub-Saharan Africa countries with an idea of creating clusters … in which we can put together all companies that is related in a value chain and they can work together and increase their capabilities,” he said.
Nomatemba Tambo, South Africa’s Ambassador to Italy, said the summit being held in South Africa was significant and would contribute to economic growth in the two countries.
She said the renewing its cooperation agreement on trade and investment with Italy in 2012 was a step in the right direction.
Vincenzo Schioppa, the Ambassador of Italy to South Africa, said the aim for the Italian government was not to boost exports, but to promote investment and establishing plants.
“Our aim is to produce together here to get Italians to have an investment in South Africa and to create job opportunities in South Africa and for goods to be consumed here,” he said.