Global Business@Meridian Downtown: South Africa

On Friday, March 15th, 2013, Meridian took its Global Business@Meridian Downtown series to New York City.

Chaired by His Excellency Ebrahim Rasool, Ambassador of South Africa to the United States, this ninth installment of the Meridian Downtown Series was hosted by Meridian Corporate Council Member, Coca Cola, and attended by leaders of major corporations, including JP Morgan Chase, IBM, BNY Mellon, AT&T, The Gallup Organization, Wines of South Africa, World Diamond Council, and four members of the South African Consulate in New York.

In the dynamic 1-hour breakfast discussion, Ambassador Rasool presented the unique trade and investment opportunities which South Africa offers as one of the most vibrant emerging markets in Africa. He also outlined the many factors which have contributed to South Africa’s reputation as an “economic hub”, including its highly developed telecommunications infrastructure; widely available, low-cost energy; economic policies which are favourable to foreign direct investment; and its strategic location. Ambassador Rasool emphasized that because of South Africa’s location at the southernmost tip of the African continent, it is ideally positioned for access to 14 African countries (a combined market of over 250 million people), and serves as a viable transhipment point between the emerging markets of Central and South America and the recently industrialized nations of South and Far East Asia.

Following Ambassador Rasool’s remarks, members of Meridian’s Corporate Council and invited guests offered questions on the cost of doing business in South Africa, as well as the readiness of South African private and public sector organizations for developing strategic alliances and partnerships with American corporations.

Project summary

Global Business@Meridian Downtown: South Africa | March 2013
Number of Attendees: 12
Regions: Africa
Countries: South Africa
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Diplomacy
Partners: Private Sector