Friday, 19 Oct 2012
Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills speaking at GREAT Business Reception in South Africa
UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills visits South Africa
Tough Times, Good Visit . Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, paid a short but fully packed visit to South Africa on 10 and 11 October
Dr Cable met with three Cabinet Ministers and the Treasurer General of the ANC in Pretoria and Johannesburg and Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, as well as business leaders throughout.
Accompanied by a delegation of British educationalists, Dr Cable chaired a round table meeting to promote UK expertise in further education and also launched the British Council’s ’Skills for Employability’ programme. In a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, Dr Cable said that the UK Further Education colleges were keen to partner in other markets by sharing the UK’s capability in further education and capacity building.
The Business Secretary also had a bilateral meeting with the new Science and Technology Minister, Derek Hanekom. Both agreed that South Africa’s areas of comparative advantage in science largely matched the new UK Catapult Centres, particularly around applied manufacturing, life sciences, renewables and space. The UK Government will look to build links between these Centres and relevant South African ‘Centres of Excellence’ and work up a shortlist of specific areas of cooperation.
Dr Cable had a substantive meeting with the Minister for Trade and Industry making good progress on a number of bilateral issues. The Business Secretary reassured South Africa of the UK’s long-term support and friendship. Throughout the programme the Secretary of State had contact with major British business and utilised the opportunities when meeting Ministers to lobby in support of future contracts for British companies.
UKTI held a GREAT Business Reception hosted by the British High Commissioner, Dame Nicola Brewer, to promote UK Business and provided an opportunity for key business contacts to meet Dr Cable. Under the GREAT theme, two excellent examples of successful British companies doing business in South Africa were showcased to key decision makers and influential guests from government and business; BT Global Services and Active Operations Management (AOM).
Leaders in technology and innovation, BT Global Services, are celebrating 20 years of success in South Africa, with further growth and expansion into southern Africa planned. As a leading British SME, and winner of The Queen’s Award for Entrepreneurship in 2011, Active Operations Management (AOM) have grown substantially by working in partnership with South African businesses for the last few years.
Derek Brown, CEO Africa, AOM
“GREAT event indeed! We made many new business contacts and received very good feedback about how AOM is received and understood in the market. I thought the event was extremely well planned and executed, well organised and well attended - as usual! Thanks again for the opportunity”.
Valerie Allem, Marketing Manager, BT Global Services
“On behalf of BT we would like to thank you for the opportunity of being part of such a wonderful evening and for all your help.”