Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 29 n° 229

“Africa is increasingly important to the EU”

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 maggio 2017

africa7The recent Business Beyond Borders (BBB) event at African Utility Week was praised by H. E. the Danish Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Trine Thygesen, as a “project to help EU businesses, in particular SMEs and clusters, to operate internationally by engaging in business opportunities – and our doors are open for Africa”.
The Danish Ambassador represented the voice of the EU at the first BBB event to take place outside Europe – which was held at African Utility Week (AUW), Cape Town (16th – 18th May), and focused on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and clusters in the water, power and utilities sector. Speaking during AUW’s opening keynote session, Ms Thygesen said: “Africa is increasingly important to the EU. Major African markets with strong growth rates represent significant increased cooperation between our continents. May AUW be the platform for engaging in new sustainable and inclusive economic development in Africa as well as the EU.” The Danish Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa also underlined the potential for private investment in energy and water, as Ms. Thygesen believes that “the answer to unlocking more potential lies in the formulation of PPP’s within the water sector”. Joining Ms. Thygesen during AUW’s keynote programme, were high-profile governmental and entrepreneurial personalities such as Dikobe Ben Martins, South African Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises; and Ben Ngubane, ESKOM’s Board Chairman.
During his keynote speech, Dikobe Ben Martins highlighted the fair’s potential to “share content and best practices” in the power and water sector: “The conference comes at a time when Africa is dealing with mounting challenges with regards to access to sustainable, modern energy services, which are a prerequisite for meeting basic human needs and for economic and social development”.
BBB is a European Commission-funded initiative which helps EU businesses to expand regionally and globally. By facilitating a series of Business-to-Business (B2B), Cluster-to-Cluster (C2C), and Business-to-Cluster (B2C) matchmaking events at the top international trade fairs around the world, the aim of the initiative is for new international business partnerships to be formed and deals to be brokered.
Over the course of AUW’s three days, BBB facilitated over 900 matchmaking meetings between more than 729 companies representing 60 countries.
Besides the one-to-one matchmaking sessions at the BBB Connecting Platform, SMEs and clusters also had the opportunity to present their business and technology to a wider audience at the BBB Demo Zone stand. Other BBB-supported activities included a Workshop on Hydropower organised by the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), and the BBB Social Media Competition, which sought to help participating companies increase their visibility online.
Coming from Finland, the winner of the BBB Social Media Competition, Gregory Neethling of FINNZA, considered the BBB matchmaking sessions to be positive for his company: “I really benefited from being here and having all these business meetings, which can lead to very successful projects”.
The next BBB matchmaking event will take place on 18th-21st September at TEXWORLD, Paris, and will be aimed at companies operating in the textile and apparel industry.

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