Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Tanzania and AIF

I was in Tanzania last week to meet with President Kikwete to discuss preparations to hold the Africa Investment Forum in Dar es Salaam. This year AIF will be a part of the East African Community Summit and will be addressed by all 5 EAC heads of Government.

Tanzania holds a particularly affection for me, it was host at the request of then President Mkapa, to CBC’s first Investors Roundtable back in 1999. This clearly demonstrated CBC’s early commitment to taking investment to countries that had never received it before, as it was also the first international investor conference ever held in Tanzania.

The AIF, always a popular event, this year comes at a time when Africa’s star is rising and the world is taking more notice than ever before. The IMF’s most recent forecasts have predicted that 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world over the next 10 years will be in Africa. The potential of a Continent with 1 billion possible consumers, that has added more people to the middle classes over the last decade than any other area of the world is not to be underestimated.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Planning for 2011

This year is going to be one of CBC's busiest. As a CHOGM year 2011 will have a strong focus on Perth and the build up to the Commonwealth Business Forum in October. However before we fly to Australia we will hold events across the Commonwealth. Starting next week in Gujarat, India where we will hold a SME roundtable as part of the Vibrant Gujarat event. Our Africa focus will be maintained by the Africa Investment Forum to be held in Tanzania and the G8 Africa Business Forum to be held in London. We will return to the Americas for the Caribbean Investment Forum in Trinidad & Tobago. This is alongside plans to host a number of Commonwealth Heads of Governments and Senior Ministers at Members functions throughout the coming year.

While Perth will be our main focus over the coming year as we develop the business forum programme with our corporate members and other stake holders, we will focus on 4 main themes throughout 2011.

1) Broaden the range of Commonwealth countries that CBC interacts with and play a role in promoting Trade and Investment in their economies.

2) Play a greater role in helping strengthen connections between Commonwealth countries and the wider global economy.

3) Continue CBC's focus on infrastructure development as a key support for growth and development

4) Finally CBC will develop a stronger focus on helping SMEs to internationalise into the global economy