Texas and South Africa in business
Pictured (l-r) Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz, Vice President of International Investment and Trade Genaro Pena, Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and
Houston Mayor Annise Parke. At the podium and facilitating the discussion is Mervyn Dziva Regional Manager at Lange 360 Communications
The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) and Houston Mayor Annise Parker lead a delegation of elected officials, top business leaders and industry officials to South Africa in February.
“There is great potential to strengthen the economic ties between us, especially in the energy sector said Mayor Parker at a press briefing at the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GDDA) in Johannesburg.
Accompanying the Mayor were Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis (Democrat – Houston), Vice President of International Investment and Trade Genaro Pena and Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz.
Energy, aviation and real estate were discussed at a “Doing Business in Houston” seminar for South African business. “Our economy is diverse and robust, and it matches up well with the types of industries that South African entrepreneurs and business people are pursuing,” said Peña. "Houston is a top U.S. city in several industries including energy, medical, transportation and manufacturing.”
Houston is home to 94 foreign consulates and the headquarters of 25 Fortune 500 companies. It also has the world’s largest medical center, the Texas Medical Center, and is known as the “Energy Capital of the World” because of its large concentration of oil, gas and renewable energy companies.
Annual trade between Houston and South Africa totaled USD1.3 billion in 2012.
“South Africa is a great friend to Texas, and I’ve been privileged to visit the country numerous times during my career,” said Senator Ellis. “With a strong emerging market like South Africa, it makes sense from both a business and cultural perspective to have strong ties to the area. I look forward to working with South African leaders to ensure that our city and state are able to continue the solid partnership that has served both regions so well.”
Mayor Parker will also be a part of an energy roundtable and other marquee events as part of the fifth biennial C40 Cities Mayors Summit.