Cape Town to host top Singapore business leader


By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Accelerate Cape Town has announced that it is bringing a top Singapore business leader to Cape Town.

ACT is the business think-tank and catalyst that brings together key stakeholders in the Cape Town city region to develop and implement a long-term vision for sustainable, inclusive economic growth.

The announcement was made last week that Teo Ming Kian, a top Singapore business leader, will be making his way to the city.

Kian, a former executive chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board and current director of Temasek Holdings, the ninth-largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, will be visiting top Cape Town role players in the business and political arenas between 10 and 14 September this year.

Commenting on the visit, Accelerate Cape Town CEO Chris Whelan said that Kian’s experience and deep understanding of driving the process of economic development is especially relevant for the Cape Town City Region in 2012, particularly as the Western Cape’s Economic Development Partnership (EDP) is launched. “We will also be exploring the key focus areas of trade and investment opportunities; international economic opportunities resulting from improved connectivity in the form of transport infrastructure such as ports and airports; Cape Town acting as a springboard into the larger African trading area similar to Singapore’s role into the Asia-Pacific region; and improving economic activity under conditions of talent shortages.”

The visit is sponsored by a number of the largest corporate organisations represented in the Cape : Ernst & Young are the headline sponsors for the week, with air travel being sponsored by Qatar Airways and Webber Wentzel as an additional sponsor.

The visit will see Kian meet with a number of key regional stakeholders, including:

· A working dinner with Wesgro, the trade and investment arm of the Western Cape government, on the evening of Monday 10 September

· A working session and dinner with the Board of the Economic Development Plan on Tuesday 11 September

· A lunch with Premier Helen Zille and strategic business leaders on Wednesday 12 September

· An internal working session with Accelerate Cape Town on the afternoon of Thursday 13 September, and a dinner with Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s executive committee in the evening.

Whelan further added that there is a real need for visits of this type. “Connect’d Cape Town, Accelerate Cape Town’s business networking programme, has demonstrated that there is a significant appetite for internal and international business networking at a senior level. We believe that this visit will bring welcome insight into some of the challenges the Western Cape business sector is currently facing, and strengthen business ties between these two great cities in order to unlock further economic opportunities for the Cape region.”

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