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World economic regions descend on SA for the first time

This year marked many firsts for the Regional Trade Promotions Organisation [RTPO] annual general assembly.

For the first time, the event will include the participation of business organisations representing the membership of the RTPO who will participate in exhibitions and pre-arranged business-to-business meetings.

Additionally, Gauteng will for the first time host the international network, a further first for the African continent.

Delegates attending the assembly this year represent over 10 world economic regions, such as Quebec-Canada, Guanajuato-Mexico, Cordoba and Mendoza-Argentina, and will focus their attention on key issues affecting trade relations such as the cost of doing business and the effect of the recent global financial crisis on the trade balance portfolio amongst member organisations.

“For us this could not have happened at a better time,” Mundunwazi Baloyi, general manager of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) told the media on Thursday in Johannesburg.

“We are living in an era where economies adopt protectionist measures and through associations like these we are able to break through into key markets,” Baloyi said. “We hope this will assist member states strike meaningful relationships.”

An organisation for networking
Gerardo Juarez, president of RTPO, said the organisation was established to promote networks, to link with different institutions and agencies, to share interests, proposals and objectives that will allow companies to learn from each other.

Juarez also added that it only made sense that South Africa be incorporated into this global network.

“We have taken into account the type of economy found in South Africa, which is not easy to find in other countries on the continent. I believe South Africa has had a formidable revolution in recent time’s and today we see a country that has grown.”

Those attending the three-day event will present their products and services to national and international delegates, utilise the free business matchmaking service that will be provided, engage and develop long standing relationships, as well as increase brand recognition.

The assembly — which begun November 17 — will end with the election of a president for the organisation, which Baloyi will be running for.

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