Country Must Adapt to Fast Pace of Global Trade – Francis

first_imgStory HighlightsThe country must adapt to the fast pace of global trade, in a manner that will bring the greatest level of prosperity.Tariffs are almost a trading measure of the past. Investment drivers vary according to industry, a proper understanding of industry supply chains is critical in designing public policy. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Country Must Adapt to Fast Pace of Global Trade – FrancisJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedJamaica Well Positioned in Global Forum Rankings RelatedJamaica Commits to International Financial Services Centre Former Executive Director, International Trade Centre, Patricia Francis, says opportunities to be presented by the Logistics Hub initiative are “real”,  so the country must adapt to the fast pace of global trade, in a manner that will bring the greatest level of prosperity.“This can only happen if the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, act in tandem,” she suggested.Ms. Francis was speaking at the opening session of the two-day Jamaica Chamber of Commerce/JAMPRO Jamaica logistics hub symposium, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, on January 21.Turning to how the new World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on trade facilitation will impact the policy environment, she noted that tariffs are almost a trading measure of the past.The former Executive Director argued that the modern way of doing business involves: market access, efficient board administration, modern transport and telecommunications infrastructure, and competitive business environment.“Those are the critical things that are actually going to add more to your cost than tariffs,” she added.Ms. Francis pointed out that because investment drivers vary according to industry, a proper understanding of industry supply chains is critical in designing public policy.“Governments must therefore address trade barriers in a structured and coherent manner. They need to understand their comparative advantage, decide where they want to go, and develop a strategic strategy to remove the relevant barriers that are in place,” she explained.On the other hand, Ms. Francis said companies must learn to better assess supply chain risks, by taking into account all the possible associated costs.Some of the topics discussed at the symposium included: integrating Jamaica into global value and supply chains; building out the physical infrastructure; scenarios for the future of the logistics industry; the Jamaica logistics hub and the Jamaican growth agenda; manpower planning; economic zone analysis; and the impact of the Panama Canal project on business networks and commerce.The Jamaica Logistics Hub is a core plank in the Government’s economic growth strategy. It is aimed at driving investment and creating sustainable employment over the long term.The country is being positioned to capitalize on its prime location for increased maritime and aviation traffic through the region, with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.center_img Photo: JIS PhotographerFormer Executive Director, International Trade Centre, Patricia Francis, addresses stakeholders at the opening session of the two-day Jamaica Chamber of Commerce/JAMPRO Jamaica logistics hub symposium, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, on January 21. Country Must Adapt to Fast Pace of Global Trade – Francis CommerceJanuary 22, 2014Written by: Alphea Saunders RelatedJamaica and Panama to Increase Collaboration on Logistics Hub Project Advertisementslast_img read more

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Spiker Kim may quit S. Korea team over contract dispute

first_img Playing hardball: South Korea’s Kim Yeon-koung, seen here at the London Olympics, is embroiled in a dispute with her former club team that could end the spiker’s career with the national team. | AP RELATED PHOTOS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES South Korean volleyball superstar Kim Yeon-koung is threatening to retire from the national team unless she is released from a contract by her former club team Heungkuk Life Insurance.The 25-year-old Kim was the Most Valuable Player at the London Olympics and is considered one of the top players in the world. She has been an integral part of the South Korean team for several years. The root of the ongoing dispute lies in the contract language that ties her to Heungkuk for six years.center_img The 192-cm outside hitter played for the Seoul-based team for four years before joining the JT Marvelous in Osaka in 2009 for two seasons. After two campaigns in Kansai, Kim signed with Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce.Kim’s contention is that her two years in Japan were actually on a transfer basis and as a result she should be considered to have fulfilled her obligation to Heungkuk. The South Korean club disagrees and was backed up by the world governing body for the sport (FIVB) in a ruling last September.So Kim, who is seeking an International Transfer Certificate, is effectively blocked from playing anywhere until she is released by Heungkuk. The 2011 V-League Most Valuable Player is taking a stand over the row and says she wants the matter resolved by July 25.At a July 15 news conference in Seoul, where she was accompanied by both her attorney and agent, Kim was adamant that she would quit the national squad if an amicable resolution was not reached.“Problems with Heungkuk Pink Spiders make me very sad,” she was quoted as saying at the Korea Press Center. “If this problem can’t be resolved as soon as possible, I will retire from the national team.”On July 1 Heungkuk asked the Korean Volleyball Association to register her as a “voluntarily withdrawn player.” The club is standing firm and made its view clear in a news release of its own the same day.“For the past year, the team worked for an amicable solution of the matter, but Kim did not back down from her original stance,” the Pink Spiders said. “The team has provided unprecedented support and convenience (for Kim), and yet she has insisted on saying things that just aren’t true.”Heungkuk claims it is willing to consider releasing Kim, but only if she “upholds the regulations and sincerely apologizes to the team.”As the most decorated women’s player in South Korean history, Kim has considerable power and she knows it. If she were to quit the national team the impact would be devastating for a side that finished fourth at the London Olympics after losing to Japan in match for the bronze medal.The result in London was South Korea’s best showing in the Olympics since taking the bronze at the Montreal Games in 1976.So dominant a force in the sport is Kim that one analyst commented recently that the match against Japan in London “wasn’t Japan vs. South Korea, it was Japan vs. Kim Yeon-koung.”When South Korea played Japan in the London Olympic qualifying tournament in Tokyo back in May of 2012, Kim, who is known for both her soaring spikes and model-like looks, scored a match-high 34 points in a four-set victory for her team.It was the kind of dominating performance that left all in attendance that evening in amazement. Simply put, it confirmed that Kim may be the finest female athlete in the world in any sport.The dispute between Kim and Heungkuk was originally mediated by the Korean Volleyball Association, but Kim and her representatives contend that the arbitration process was unfair. They are threatening to take the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sport or the South Korean legal system.Kim is one of the most popular female athletes in her country, and her fans voiced their displeasure over her treatment earlier this week by protesting outside the KVA offices in Seoul for several days.The stakes are even higher with the 2014 World Championship qualifying tournament set to be held in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, in early September, followed by the Asian championships in Thailand later the same month.Kim’s absence at either event would be devastating for South Korea. It will be interesting to see who blinks first in this game of brinkmanship, but the reality is that the national team needs Kim a lot more than she needs them. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

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Koura youngsters score good win against Gadota in Kauka darts challenge

first_imgdart EGGS KOURA youngsters were rampant with a record 8 to 1 victory against Gadota in the Kauka darts association competition at Kira Kira village on Saturday. Koura opened the session with a much needed win in the team event with Lahui Tuku who registered their first win. Tuku contributed scoring three 100’s and pegged four checks in the men’s doubles and won his singles event. He has hit form at the right time and will need a lot of match time to get to the top. Other players who also contributed in the win include Alan Kevin. Vero Mairi, Gaina Rabura and Nobert Kunia. The win has elevated Koura to third position on the point’s ladder behind Rome 2 and Rome 1. In the other exciting encounter, Munidarava caused the upset of the round at defeating Hunters with close 5/4 blow. Muni veteran Kabua Patana Snr broke the silence with an affordable peg on double 15 in the team event that opened the passage for Bobby Pana, Ela Saia Baeau Gabutu and Ata Geita to have clocked wins. The current top five on the point’s ladder is Rome 1 at the top and Rome 2 (second), Promote (third), Koura (fourth) and Badu Sharks in fifth placing. The other teams that are trailing closely are Spartans, White Cliff, Waga Rats, Gadota, Hunters, Muni Darava and Eggs Koura two. Waga Rats have registered fair bit of win in the singles events but are yet to reach their peak as yet. The next couple of rounds will be crucial for all the teams and it is going to be a win- win situation for them to get their acts together.last_img read more

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Port Moresby to host another World Boxing Council’s sanctioned fight

first_imgBY KEVIN TEME For the first time, the Oceania Fight Promotion (OFP) Company will host the World Boxing Council’s sanctioned title fight in PNG. “It has been a long time coming,” OFP promoter and boxing legend Martin Beni said. Beni’s last title fight was held back in 1974 for the Australian title shot which was held at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium. Four years later, another boxing legend Late Johnny Aba had another go in the World title shot against a Panamanian boxer named Eusebio Pedroza. Aba lost lost but the title shot was also held in Port Moresby. Both Beni and late Aba had put PNG on the world boxing map and from then, professional boxing in the PNG went into hibernation. “Professional boxing died in the country but I want to thank Oceania Fight Promotion for reviving this code. For myself, I want to see a world champion in professional boxing before I close my eyes,” said Beni. OFP Managing director Maryanne Millie, the only female who had stepped into resurrecting professional boxing after seeing the need to expose PNG local talents said, “It is an honor to receive the Light weight title belt for the first time in many years.” Millie said this title will be fought between PNG’s current light heavy weight champion John ‘The Stoppa’ Korake and Thailand’s current light weight champion title holder Chaloemporn Sawatsuk. “This title shot is sanctioned by the World Boxing Council and the Asia Boxing Council and I just want to thank all our major sponsors including National Gaming Control Board, MVIL, Data Co, Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Kumul Petroleum Holdings, B-Mie and of course our good Prime Minister Hon James Marape for making it possible for this title fight to happen on 1st December in Port Moresby,” Millie said. Millie is urging all the fans and supporters in Port Moresby and right across the country to get behind PNG’s local talent John ‘ The stoppa’ Korake who will take on the visiting Thailand’s light heavy weight champion Chaloempor Sawatsuk for the WBC light heavy weight title fight between PNG’s Korake and Thailand’s Sawatsuk. Tickets are now on sale at JUP Business Center opposite Pacific Engineering, Croton Street, Suite 1 Waigani and vision City Mall at B-Mie Arts and Crafts Shop for K25. Corporate tables are going for K5000 and ring side per seat is at K500.last_img read more

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BCCI demands close to $42m in damages from WICB

first_imgIn a bid to appease the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), The West Indies Cricket Board is proposing that the teams play the remainder of their 2014 series. The tour was aborted following salary disputes between West Indies players and the board. The BCCI has threatened court action to recover its US$41.97 million in losses.The BCCI had announced two weeks ago it would seek compensation from the WICB for losses sustained as a result of the cancelled tour, and followed through with formal correspondence to the Antigua-based organisation on Friday.The WICB has been trying to mitigate the damage through talks, the president maintaining his stance that he will try to use cricket to pay the debt.One of the ways WICB has come up with paying that debt is to ask that, during an open international window for the teams, the West Indies and India play out the remainder of their tour.Media rights make up the bulk of the losses with the BCCI estimating them at just over US$35 million, while ticket sales account for around $2 million and the title sponsorship from Micromax estimated at $1.6 million.The BCCI has also factored in losses in kit sponsorship from Nike, team sponsorship, in-stadia sponsorship and stadium concessionaires, in the compensation package.last_img read more

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Walgren on fire at Special Olympics meet in Coquitlam

first_imgIan Walgren of Nelson improved on his season during a recent Special Olympics Speed Skating meet on the Lower Mainland.Walgren tore up the track with blistering times posting personal best in all four of his events. He opened in the 222 meter race with a second place finish in a time of 33:64 seconds. Walgren followed that up with a gold in the 333 meter race in a time of 47.95 seconds before skating another personal best in the 777 m race finishing first.The time of 1:53.11 was three quarters of a lap ahead of the his closest competitor.In the 500 m, his final race of the day Walgren took fourth in the photo finish.Walgren finished fourth only eight tenths of a second out of first with a time of 1:10:73.  Next up for Ian are the Special Olympic Regional trials in Richmond on March 10th.In other Skating News:Last weekend four West Kootenay Speed skaters made the trip to Vernon for the final meet of the year.All of the skaters skated extremely well pushing themselves to get personal best times.Unfortunately it was not their day as Mercedes Phillips earned a PB in her 1500 m race, but in her second race of the day, she crashed in the 400 m and ended up with a slight concussion and could no longer race for the day. Brother Tirstan Phillips also had a rough time of it falling in three of his four races still earning PB’s in two of the races. Oliver Ludwar had two PB’s and his younger brother Charlie earned four PB’s one for each race event he was entered in.Next up for the club is the 5 km (50 laps of a 100 m track) Skate – a – thon on Thursday, February 15, 2018 and preparation for the BC Winter Games in Kamloops.Berend Platje and Mercedes Phillips will represent the Kootenay zone on February 24th and 25th.last_img read more

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Why isn’t Toby Alderweireld playing for Spurs against Inter Milan?

first_imgTOTTENHAM will be without Toby Alderweireld when they take on Inter in the Champions League.Mauricio Pochettino has revealed why the Belgian and Kieran Trippier have not travelled with the squad to Italy.2 Toiby Alderweireld started for Spurs against Liverpool on SaturdayCredit: Getty Images – GettyWhy is Toby Alderweireld not playing?The Spurs boss has confirmed that it was a “technical decision” to drop the defender.Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Pochettino said: “It’s a technical decision.”You can look it up in the dictionary. Tactical?”That is on the pitch, although I guess you could say this is tactical off of the pitch.”2 The defender has not travelled with the squad to MilanCredit: Getty – ContributorAnd he confirmed that the players are not being punished for recent performances and has insisted that they have been rested to ensure they are fit for the Premier League.Poch said: “No, no you are clever enough to understand that this is my fifth season and I never punish players.”The plan is to leave them there and use different players tomorrow.”There’s nothing in behind it. Only that we’re playing with different players.”WHAT THE REFMMA fighter gets DQ’d in Abu Dhabi and tries to fight Brit ref Marc GoddardLIL ISSUEBoris Becker’s estranged wife begs his new girlfriend to ‘step away from my son’RETRACING STEPSJack Charlton’s granddaughter Emma Wilkinson ‘would love’ to visit IrelandROY RAGEFurious Roy Keane launched foul-mouthed rant at Pique over Fabregas friendshipPicturedTOP FORMBrazil icon Ronaldo soaks up sun with partner Celina Locks on yacht in FormenteraPicturedON THE PAOLPaolo Maldini shows off shredded physique at 52 while on holiday with wifeCHOPPER BOTHERJohn Terry ignores hol advice & travels to ‘off-limits’ Portugal by chopperprayer parkHundreds of Muslim worshipers celebrate Eid at Croke Park in historic ceremonyMAC BACK?Conor McGregor hints at stunning UFC comeback with ‘I accept’ postWALK THE LINStunning Olympic gymnast who posed for snap with McGregor hits out at criticsWho else is out of action for Tottenham?Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is still “weeks away” from full fitness after suffering with a thigh injury.Dele Alli could miss out due to a hamstring injury, which he picked up during the international break.Moussa Sissoko is also unavailable because of a hamstring injury.Tottenham goalkeeper Michel Vorm’s error allows Georginio Wijnaldum to score for Liverpoollast_img read more

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The Rohinga crisis

first_imgThe Rohinga crisis is one of the worst human rights’ disasters of the modern world. In many ways, it is a replay of the Nazi terrorization, expulsion and murder of the Jewish people, which occurred in the 1930s and 1940s. A few countries, such as Denmark, protected their Jewish citizens, but no country in the 1930s condemned, on the international stage, the Jewish persecution. When the condemnation did come, it was too late.It is only now, when half of the Rohinga population have been brutally driven out from their homes — their villages destroyed by fire; many killed, wounded and raped — that the United Nations and some countries have spoken out against the persecution of this ethnic minority by the Myanmar (formerly Burma) military.According to UN estimates, some 380,000 Rohinga refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar have crossed the border into Bangladesh since 25 August. A visit to the area last week by a UN team led by Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, George Okoth-Obbo, found people suffering real hardship and some of the most difficult conditions seen in any current refugee situation. The team has reported that refugees continue to arrive daily outside of the two established camps, which are already substantially overflowing, and many people have received little meaningful help to date.Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, told the UN General Assembly this week that Myanmar must stop “ethnic cleansing” in Rakhine state, and “safe zones” should be created inside that country to protect all civilians, under the supervision of the United Nations.Myanmar (Burma) has several ethnic minorities, some of whom, like the Karens and the tribes who live in the Golden Triangle — a drug-dealing area bordering China — have been in rebellion against the Myanmar Government. The Myanmar Army has never carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing and destructive brutalization against these rebel minorities as it has done to the Rohingas. The reason why the Rohingas have been singled out is because of stark racial and religious discrimination.The Rohinga people are Muslim by religion, small farmers and peasants, and there are no rich and powerful Rohingas. They are extremely peace-loving people. They number about one and a half million.The Myanmar military and Government have long been persecuting the Rohingas. Rohingas have been denied their citizenship, and, many years before the eruption of the present crisis, they were harassed, and public opinion was encouraged to hate them. The Myanmar Army had long been planning the destruction of the Rohinga community, and adjudged that this was an opportune time to execute its nefarious plan, since the world was distracted by a number of crises. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr António Guterres, took the very unusual step of writing the Security Council, and it was owing to his effort that the Security Council discussed the Rohinga crisis. Owing to the influence of China, which has a strong relationship with the Myanmar military, the communiqué issued was very weak. Despite this, more nations are sympathetic and supportive of the Rohinga people and their suffering.Myanmar has very few friends in the International Community, though its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, had once won a world-wide reputation of being a fighter for Democracy and Human Rights, for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize. After her speech to her Parliament last Tuesday, her reputation became further dented, owing to her basically non-committal approach to the Rohinga crisis.The Guyana Government has been presented with a windfall of diplomatic opportunity by this crisis, but it has so far failed to seize the opportunity presented. President L.F.S. Burnham, as he did in the Non-Aligned Movement and in the Anti-Apartheid struggle, would have seized this opportunity. His Foreign Ministers — Sir Shridath Ramphal, Mr Rashleigh Jackson and Mr Rudy Insanally — are still available to be consulted.It is, however, not too late for Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to act. They could, for instance, develop a CARICOM position or bloc on the issue. Guyana could act independently, as Mr Burnham did. As far as we are aware, however, Guyana has not issued a statement condemning the human rights’ abuses perpetrated by the Myanmar military.last_img read more

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Western Carolina University Dedicates Newest Residence Hall

first_imgNearly 300 members of the Western Carolina University community came together Thursday, Sept. 5, to dedicate the campus’s newest residence hall in honor of Levern Hamlin Allen, the institution’s first African-American student and a woman characterized by WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown as “a quiet pioneer of integration.”The WCU Board of Trustees unanimously decided last September to name the 614-bed residence hall, which opened this fall, after Allen in recognition of her decision to enroll in summer courses in 1957 at what was then Western Carolina College. In addition to being the first African-American student to enroll at WCU, she also was among the first to be admitted to any of North Carolina’s all-white state institutions of higher education.“In doing so, you demonstrated a sense of bravery that I don’t believe many of us can comprehend – being the only student of color at a school in the rural mountains of North Carolina, hundreds of miles away from home,” Brown said to Allen at the dedication ceremony. “And, in doing so, you became a quiet pioneer of integration, helping blaze the trail for thousands of African-American students who would one day follow in your footsteps and enroll at Western Carolina.”Allen often has downplayed the historic nature of her decision to enroll, stating that she was not making a statement, nor was she part of an organized effort on behalf of a civil rights group. “I needed nine hours, so I went,” she said.That fact doesn’t lessen the impact of her choice to enroll, Brown said. “She may be humble about her decision and her actions, but I can tell you that, in life, it’s often the power of simply showing up that can make all the difference in the world,” she said. “The story of Levern Hamlin Allen is a lesson in understanding that true heroism is not always flashy. Most of the time, true bravery is the humble act of presenting yourself at the right place and in the right moment of time. That is the power of Levern Hamlin Allen’s story at Western Carolina University.”Michael Naylor, president of the WCU African-American Alumni Society and a member of the WCU Alumni Association Board of Directors, was a graduate student at WCU pursuing his master’s degree in business administration when he and other members of a group called the Ebony Club began planning for the university’s inaugural African-American alumni reunion in 1987. It was that group’s outreach to Allen that helped revive her relationship with the university, later leading to two terms as a member of the Board of Trustees. She also served on the search committee that recommended John W. Bardo as chancellor in 1995. Eleven years later, Bardo presented her with an honorary doctorate of humane letters on behalf of WCU.“Today, we honor a woman who, in the summer of 1957, during a time of incredible racial turmoil in this nation and especially in the South, took the brave step of enrolling at a small college in the mountains of rural Western North Carolina, hundreds of miles from her home and her family, where she would be the only student of color,” Naylor said at the dedication.“Here we are this morning, 62 years after she first set foot on this campus in Cullowhee, to officially dedicate this new residence hall as Levern Hamlin Allen Hall, a place where a diverse group of more than 600 students will pursue their dreams, just as Dr. Allen did in the summer of 1957,” he said.Representing WCU’s Board of Trustees, board Chairman Bryant Kinney said that Allen’s story resonates with the mission of Western Carolina University – an institution built around meeting the educational needs of the people of the region and the state by creating what WCU’s mission statement refers to as “learning opportunities.”“We are proud to be among the select institutions of distinction that provided you a learning opportunity and that you chose to meet your needs. But Dr. Allen’s story was not one simply about having her educational needs met. As a board, we recognized the tremendous importance of her choice at a time when choices were not always available to everyone,” Kinney said.“But, just like pioneers who grew this nation, Dr. Allen had the courage and commitment to step out and ‘just go.’ For her leadership, others have followed, and this building will house a diverse student population that was only a dream back in 1957,” he said.In her remarks, Allen described an early encounter with Danny Hirt, the young son of Lillian Hirt, the institution’s director of publicity who helped Allen quietly assimilate into the campus community in that summer of 1957.“Danny asked me why my skin was so dark,” Allen said. “While I was struggling to form a professional teacher answer for a 7-year-old, his mother said, ‘Because she is from a different race.’ The matter was settled. Danny went back to playing and Mrs. Hirt and I continued our conversation. I have told that story often because it speaks to the innocence of a child as well as to his environment. The milieu of Western Carolina College in the summer of 1957 was one of acceptance.”Allen said she received a letter a couple of years ago from Danny Hirt, who passed away in January of this year. “In it, he said, ‘Obviously, this was only a question of innocence asked by a youngster who had a natural curiosity about the things around him. Mom made sure that my brother and I understood that while people may look different, we are all children of God and should be respected and embraced,’” she said.Sam Miller, WCU vice chancellor for student affairs, expressed his appreciation to “the small army of planners, designers, contractors, trades specialists, inspectors, team members from WCU departments and many other individuals” who worked on the planning and construction of Allen Hall. Construction on the $48 million, 165,026-square-foot project began in spring 2018.To close the dedication ceremony, university officials presented Allen with a reproduction of her scrapbook that documented her time at WCU, which she had previously donated to Hunter Library Special Collections.Other activities related to the dedication included tours of the residence hall for members of Allen’s family, an African-American Alumni Society reception, and a breakfast conversation involving Allen and student leaders titled “Breaking Barriers and Breaking Bread.”last_img read more

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Entrepreneurs bring British business back home

first_imgAnother successful International Trade Programme (ITP) trip – the most successful so far – concluded when 14 entrepreneurs returned to South Africa with business deals and partnerships lined up. (Image: The Lime Envelope) • Michelle Samraj PR & Events Assistant The Lime Envelope +27 11 467 8998 [email protected] • Entrepreneur builds internet empire • Entrepreneurship key for jobless youth • The DTI spotlights small tech businesses • Give youth a voice • Imbizo boost for entrepreneursMelissa Jane CookAnother successful International Trade Programme (ITP) trip – the most successful so far – concluded when 14 entrepreneurs returned to South Africa with business deals and partnerships lined up.It was the third ITP trip in two years, on which 14 South African entrepreneurs representing 12 businesses visited the United Kingdom. They touched down at OR Tambo International Airport last week, bringing business back home.The ITP aims to stimulate trade between South African entrepreneurs and British partners, fast tracking the growth of local entrepreneurial businesses. It is held that entrepreneurship is key to economic growth and job creation in South Africa. Hundreds of entrepreneurs from across the country applied for inclusion on the ITP. The candidates were chosen during a rigorous selection and training process at the end of 2013.Medo, which connects large companies with an annual turnover of more than R35-million with emerging and smaller enterprises, is the group behind the programme. It is sponsored by British Telecom Global Services (BT). This latest tour yielded the best success rate ever. Success is based on actual agreements concluded. Bjarke Gotfredsen, the joint chief executive and co-founder of Medo, says: “Our first tour had a success rate of 20%, our second 50% and this one I would say anywhere between 70% to 80%.”The success is due to a number of factors. “The entrepreneurs are more prepared for the tour every year and as tour facilitators we have also learned where to go and we have built up better connections. For example, where we stayed this time was better for the entrepreneurs in terms of getting around as it did not take as much time as previously experienced.”University learning and presentationsHe also says their partners in the United Kingdom are better prepared. “Our UK partners put in a big effort and they have been building on the momentum from the first tour. Coventry University was extremely insightful, for example, hosting 10 lecturers presenting not just on technology, but also on entrepreneurship. Each entrepreneur also gave a short presentation on their business and ideas, and connections were then brainstormed with the experts at Coventry University.“This was also the first time that BT sent two representatives on the tour and it was very helpful to have them along,” Gotfredsen adds.Rodney Heubner, the contract manager for sub-Saharan Africa at BT Global Services, was one of those representatives. “The success of the tour for me was on the faces of the entrepreneurs when they had a meeting and secured a deal or contract,” he says. “I was impressed with all of them as they did their homework before we went over.”A tour such as this one, he says, opens their minds to the opportunities and possibilities out there. “The focus on this tour was the ICT sector. We want to grow that sector by investing in it through initiatives such as the Medo ITP and, in doing so, bring these entrepreneurial businesses into our supply chain.”The businesses and their dealsHenk Koekemoer, who owns CashCow in Cape Town, an accountancy board game and kit, was one of the entrepreneurs on the programme. He received an endorsement from the International Association of Bookkeepers for CashCow. In addition, Serious Gaming Institute will develop CashCow into a digital format. “This means CashCow will become available worldwide – on smart phones and tablets.” Koekemoer also had discussions with Price Waterhouse Coopers in the UK about how the financial services firm could use his product to assist in the basic learning of accounting throughout the world.Itumeleng Legodi of Systemwox ICT in Centurion was another entrepreneur on the tour. The company provides ICT business solutions to companies so they can operate more efficiently. These solutions include bulk texting and crowd sourcing. “We have secured an agreement in principle with Capium to distribute their products in Southern Africa. I am overwhelmed and pleased with the deal. I think it would have taken me much longer to yield such a result if I had to do it on my own, instead of through the Medo ITP,” Legodi says.Also on the programme were two representatives from AC Electromech in Middleburg. Josias Motsoeneng, the chief executive director of marketing and projects, and Hendrik van Rooyen, the chief executive director of risk management, were very pleased with the tour. “We secured an exclusive licence agreement to sell and distribute Hansford products throughout Africa,” they say.AC Electromech provides predictive and preventive machine health monitoring technology to the mining, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Hansford products, together with the software AC Electromech is developing, will mean machine health monitoring in real time. “Maintenance costs in the mining industry are very high. Technicians have to travel to the mines to scan the machines and then come back to the office with the data. With new software we can offer online live data, meaning analysis of machines can be done in a couple of hours. The client can also access the data 24/7.”They are also in talks with BT, which will lead to its entry into the oil and gas sector. This should be finalised at the end of this month.Good progressBoth businessmen were happy with how the tour went and their progress. “A tour such as this also allows us to see what other entrepreneurs in other countries are doing, and how their governments and institutes are assisting them. Medo and BT have given us the opportunity to engage in conversation at the top, instead of us fighting [from] the bottom to be heard to get to the top,” says Motsoeneng.Van Rooyen adds: “I think the Department of Trade and Industry is moving in the right direction in South Africa. What we need is funding and research. A university should start a course for entrepreneurs to expose them to the institution and give them access to research.”Fundi in Cape Town provides academic and training institutions with a delivery mechanism for their digital material. The company’s Kennedy Kitheka said the tour gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to see what they were capable of and to realise they were not that far behind in terms of technology. “Even if you do not seal a deal, you learn a great deal,” he explains.His company was successful in securing the rights to digitise Limra’s content through its delivery mechanism. The pilot will run in the next month or two. But Medo does not only help to secure supplier relationships and expand trade within and outside South Africa; the company’s knowledge and experience in enterprise development also allows it to help corporate clients with their enterprise development strategies and broad-based black economic empowerment point accrual.last_img read more

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