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SA tells a ‘good story’ at WEF in Davos

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MIKE BELLING

Its original narrower focus as the European Management Forum was broadened in 1987, when it was given its current name, broadening its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts.

Many prominent South Africans attend the invitation-only event each year, with the 2017 delegates including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa – who led the South African delegation of 60 – and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Both made presentations on South Africa.

Ramaphosa was upbeat about the unity among the South African delegates and the positive reception they received with their message: South Africa is a good haven for investments.

The WEF is regarded as a neutral platform for the 2 500 delegates – and as a significant source of news for 500 journalists.

It is seen as a valuable platform for businesses and countries to present their economic advantages and prospects to potential investors and network formally and informally among influential world and regional leaders.

Previous attendees included former South African Presidents FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela in 1992 and Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat in 1994.

Two Jewish South Africans attended this year – Investec PLC CEO Stephen Koseff and University of Cape Town Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price. The next edition of the SA Jewish Report will feature an interview with Koseff.

The WEF was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born business professor at the University of Geneva, who still heads the organisation.

 

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