On April 4th, as part of the annual activities of the South Africa – Italy Summit, a High Level working group has been organized by The European House – Ambrosetti in Milan. The event provided the chance to reflect on the South African unique space for turnaround, provided by the uptake of Country’s Presidency by Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, and related opportunities for Italian and European entrepreneurs and business leaders.


On April 4th, The European House – Ambrosetti has organized the High-Level Working Group

“Ramaphosa’s Turnaround Opens Great Opportunities for Italian Companies in South Africa”.

The event gathered almost 50 Italian and European business leaders and experts, interested in discussing the outcomes that stem from most recent developments in the country and committed in understanding the opportunities that such a turnaround opens for their companies and investments.

During the afternoon of work and debate, several Italian and international experts and leaders provided the relevant knowledge base required to effectively frame the topic and to stimulate a high-quality debate between the participants.

An update on the geo-economics framework of reference has been provided by the speech of H.E. Prof. Shirish M. Soni, Ambassador of South Africa to Rome, which shared with the audiencethe priorities of Ramaphosa administration and the major opportunities offered to Italian companies willing to enter the country. Mr. Elio Menzione, former Ambassador of Italy to Pretoria, reinforced the opinion, already clear among the participants, that Ramaphosa Presidency opens a major and positive turning point in South Africa business and institutional environment. Quantitative elements to support such optimism has been provided by Mrs.

Giulia Pellegrini, Portfolio Manager Emerging Markets, BlackRock. Mrs. Pellegrini also highlighted those financial instruments and opportunities for investments that South Africa offers today to Italian and European companies.

Finally, Mr. Fabrizio Zago, CEO, Building Energy, provided its own experience in dealing and doing business with South Africa. Such experience has not always been positive, but Mr Zago expressed his sharp conviction that a turnaround has already started: the very 4th of April, South African government announced the signing of $4.7 billion of delayed deals in the renewable sector.

Held in Palazzo Parigi in Milan, the event was part of the annual activities of the South Africa – Italy Summit Community. The South Africa – Italy Summit initiative, launched by The European House – Ambrosetti in 2012, has already affirmed not only as the reference platform for high-level and effective discussion among Italian and South African business leaders, but also as a major tool to advance business relations and investments between the whole Africa and Europe. 
The 5th Edition of the Summit will take place the next 23rd and 24th October in Johannesburg.

For further information and subscriptions to the Summit or to have further information on the activities of the Community, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Eleonora Magnani (eleonora.magnani@ambrosetti.eu – telephone +390246753.303).

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