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The Beijing Axis at the South Africa Investment Conference
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 01:41

JOHANNESBURG – 25-27 October 2018 – The Beijing Axis attended the three-day South Africa Investment Conference, hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa, as part of a drive to invigorate South Africa’s economy, restore investor confidence, and reduce unemployment.

Attended by over 1,000 delegates, the summit was held in various venues across Johannesburg. The Beijing Axis’ Founder and Group Managing Director Kobus van der Wath and Managing Director of Axis Capital Advisory Haiwei Huang were also in attendance at this milestone event.

The conference kicked off with a networking cocktail on 25 October, Thursday, at Summer Place, along with two other side events – Theatre Night at Nelson Mandela Square, and an Art Gallery Exhibition Opening at the Berman Contemporary Art Gallery.

The main event took place on 26 October at the Sandton Convention Center. After the official opening ceremony and welcoming remarks by President Ramaphosa, the day kicked off with a talk on the benefits of investing in South Africa, followed by three sets of parallel sessions. The topics of the sessions were as follows: Sessions A - agriculture and agro-processing, mining and minerals beneficiation, and manufacturing; Sessions B – transport, energy and water infrastructure; Sessions C - ICT & innovation, Tourism, BPO and film, and venture capital and entrepreneurship.

This was followed by a panel discussion entitled “Accelerating growth by building partnerships”. President Ramaphosa then closed the day’s session by reflecting on the successes of the day, indicating future directions for policy makers, and committing to further ensuring smooth economic growth, incorporating the interests of the business community. The day’s activities ended with networking cocktails and a business dinner.

The summit concluded on Saturday, 27 October, with a fun walk through Soweto, a historically important township. President Ramaphosa led the walk, which stopped at key landmarks, including Mandela House.

The achievements of the conference were undeniably enormous, having generated USD 20 bn, and securing an additional USD 27.45 bn in pledges from domestic and international actors. These included a USD 5 bn commitment by mining giant Anglo American, a USD 314 mn commitment by South African internet and entertainment group Naspers, a USD 528 mn pledge by South African pulp and paper company Sappi, and a USD 544 mn pledge by international packaging and paper group Mondi, to name a few.

Reflecting on the significance of the summit, Haiwei Huang observed that the conference inspired confidence in South Africa’s growth potential from the perspective of domestic and foreign investment, suggesting a new phase of sustainable economic growth broadly applicable across industry sectors.

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