News Details

Members’ Luncheon with EU Ambassador, Dr Marcus Cornaro

26.04.18 AHK Süd-Afrika - News-Hauptkategorie

Johannesburg, 24 April 2018 – Members of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry came together at the Johannesburg Country Club in Auckland Park for one of the SAGCC’s ever-popular Members’ Luncheons. This event’s guest of honour and speaker was the Head of the European Union Delegation to South Africa, Ambassador Dr Marcus Cornaro.

Ambassador Cornaro was rather candid in his description of the current relationship between South Africa and the European Union. South Africa is much more dependent on foreign direct investments than most other developing countries. The EU and the 2000 European companies based in South Africa indicate that the EU is South Africa’s most important trade partner. He spoke at length about how European companies have experienced local business and trade legislation. He emphasised that European investors and businesses are very eager to get involved in South Africa, but frequently encounter obstacles in the form of bottlenecking in South Africa’s trade processes.

The ambassador spoke highly of South Africa’s new leader, President Ramaphosa. The president’s efforts in strengthening relations with European nations as well as his determination to rid the local government of corrupt players, has cast South Africa in a very positive light in the eyes of foreign investors. What may deter European investors, however, is Ramaphosa’s decision on land reform. “Until there is clarity on land reform, you cannot expect investors to flock to South Africa.”

Of course, Ambassador Cornaro also spoke on the trends and occurrences taking place in Europe and particularly on the issue of Brexit. The ambassador assured guests that Brexit should not impact relations between the United Kingdom and South Africa, nor the EU’s relations with South Africa.

Nevertheless, EU companies are determined to become active in the South African market as evidenced by the noticeable shift in the EU-SA trade deficit in South Africa’s favour. Ambassador Cornaro affirmed that the European Union and European companies are always looking to support South Africa’s goal of radical economic transformation.

Members attending the lunch enjoyed engaging the ambassador in a brief Q and A, following his speech, and were sure to take advantage of the networking opportunities at this event.

Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been operating in Southern Africa for over 65 years. Bringing together potential business partners is one of our key service offerings. We foster business links between Germany and Southern African companies through comprehensive and target group oriented researches, workshops, seminars and business delegations that bring you in contact with competent business partners in your industry. Contact the Chamber to get connected with German and southern African businesses at info(at)germanchamber.co.za; or call +27 11 486 2775.