The South Africa – Italy Summit 2016 kicks off tomorrow

The European House – Ambrosetti has organised the third “South Africa – Italy Summit” which will take place on Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th October 2016 in Johannesburg at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. CN&CO is super excited to be working with Grown Consulting and the European House of Ambrosetti in managing the PR for the Summit, which looks to be incredibly interesting.

The Summit is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Embassy in South Africa, the South African Embassy in Italy, the National Foreign Trade Institute – ICE, the South African–Italian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Secretariat of State for Industry, Handicraft, Trade, Transport and Research of the Republic of San Marino.

This year, the Summit will also have the patronage and active cooperation of the Province of Gauteng – which accounts for 34% of South Africa’s GDP and 10% of the GDP of the entire continent – the main driver in the continuously multiplying relations between Italy and South Africa.

Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner of The European House – Ambrosetti, underlines the importance of reinforcing relations between South Africa and Italy/Europe: “South Africa and the countries of southern Africa tend to remain outside the radar of the majority of the Italian businesses. This is a strategic error because the opportunities and potential synergies between Italy and South Africa are partially unexplored. Moreover, in the decades to come South Africa will be one of the development hubs of Africa, the great world economy of the future.”

The Summit, very exclusive and by invitation only, will bring together the highest echelons of Italian and South African business leaders, eminent economists and representatives of  government to discuss strategic opportunities in the two countries. The Summit will provide a common platform for entering and expanding into the Sub-Saharan continent.

The goal is to significantly increase investments and trade synergies between the two countries and the respective continents. This edition will welcome approximately 150 business leaders, half of whom are Italian.

A number of delegations from various parts of Italy will also take part in this year’s forum and the Summit will provide an occasion for concluding agreements with South African companies and organisations: from Lombardy, represented by the Deputy-Governor of the Lombardy Region, Fabrizio Sala, to Emilia-Romagna, represented by its Governor Stefano Bonaccini.

This year, for the first time, there will also be corporate delegations and representatives of Institutions (Ministries and Embassies) from other African countries (Botswana, Namibia) and other European countries (Greece, Portugal and Spain), as well as from South Africa and Italy.

Alongside and during the Summit, the following documents will be signed:

  • a Ministerial agreement between the Italian Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea and the South African Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs;
  • a Memorandum of Understanding between the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Province of Gauteng.

The Summit will also be the backdrop for the presentation of the preliminary results of the Social Initiative launched with the 2015 edition, during which the leaders taking part in the Summit offered to act as mentors for young South Africans: two start-ups will present a pitch during the gala dinner on October 18.

Digital, energy, agriculture and automotive: these are the four working papers that will be presented at the Summit.

  1. Teaming up to reap the latest opportunities arising from the digital revolution
  2. Cooperating in the energy sector to meet the challenges ahead
  3. Designing together a strategic roadmap for the completion of the automotive value chain
  4. Sharing experience and technology to foster competitiveness and sustainability in agribusiness


The themes of this year’s forum will be:

  • Europe and Africa can resume the path to growth in a changing global geo-economic scenario.
  • Shared experience and technology to promote competitiveness and sustainability in the Agribusiness
  • Italian-South African cooperation in the energy sector to meet the challenges ahead
  • Italy and South Africa design together a strategic roadmap for the completion of the automotive value chain
  • South Africa and Italy together to reap the opportunities arising from the digital revolution
  • The regions increase their competitiveness and growth through new approaches and cooperation instruments.


Confirmed Speakers

  • Marco Arzilli(Secretary of State for Industry, Handicraft and Trade, Republic of San Marino);
  • Gian Luca Bagnara(Chairman, Texere);
  • Willem Basson(Project Champion for the Rust De Winter Super Agri-Park Project; Deputy-President, Agri-Gauteng);
  • Stefano Bonaccini(Governor, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy);
  • Paolo Borzatta(Senior Partner, The European House – Ambrosetti);
  • Claudio Ceresani(CEO, Perago);
  • Carmelo Cocuzza(Head of Regional Representation, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean, European Investment Bank);
  • Marcus Cornaro(Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of South Africa);
  • Barbara Creecy(MEC for Finance, Gauteng, South Africa);
  • Barbara Degani(Deputy Minister for Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, Italy);
  • Valerio De Molli(Managing Partner & CEO, The European House – Ambrosetti);
  • Pietro Giovanni Donnici(Ambassador of Italy to South Africa);
  • Alec Erwin(Chairman, Ubu Investment Holdings; former Minister of Public Enterprises and former Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa);
  • Frederik Geertman(Chief Commercial Officer, UBI Banca);
  • Eleni Giokos(Africa Correspondent, CNNMoney);
  • Luwellyn Tyrone Landers(Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa);
  • Wendy Luhabe(Chairman, Women Private Equity Fund);
  • David Malemolla Makhura(Premier of Gauteng, South Africa);
  • Peter Malungani(Founder and Executive Chairman, PEU Group);
  • Maurizio Mariano(Attorney, Co-Founder and Director, BBM Law Firm);
  • David Masondo(CEO, Automotive Industry Development Centre – AIDC);
  • Renai Moothilal(Executive Director, National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers – NAACAM);
  • Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah(Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Namibia);
  • Tseke Nkadimeng(CEO, Afric Oil);
  • Ndaba Ntsele(Chairman and Co-Founder, Pamodzi Investment Group; President, the Black Business Council, South Africa);
  • Claudio Nucci(General Manager, Ansaldo Energia, Italy);
  • Paolo Olivero(Country Leader South Africa, CLN-MA Group);
  • Naledi Pandor(Minister of Science and Technology, Republic of South Africa);
  • Renzo Piraccini(Chairman, Almaverde Bio; Chairman, Macfrut Trade Fair, Italy);
  • Lapo Pistelli(Senior Vice President, ENI; former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy);
  • Patric Ralotsia (Minister of Agriculture, Botswana);
  • Fabrizio Sala(Deputy Governor for Social Housing, EXPO, International and European Relations and Business Internationalisation, Lombardy Region, Italy);
  • Nomatemba Tambo(Ambassador of South Africa to Italy);
  • Stergomena Tax(Executive Secretary, Southern African Development Community – SADC);
  • Luca Vecchi(Mayor, Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy);
  • Fabrizio Zago(CEO, Building Energy);
  • Lindiwe Zulu(Minister for Small Business Development, South Africa).

Other business leaders and high-level representatives of the Government of the two countries have been invited to participate at the Summit.

During the Summit, participants will also be able to take part in the following fringe events:

  • Monday, October 17 at 7:30 pm in Johannesburg: opening event of the 16th “Week of the Italian Language in the World” (October, 17-23, 2016) organized by the Culture Department of the Emilia-Romagna Region and by the Italian Institute in Pretoria;
  • Tuesday, October 18: opening of the “CNR-CSIR Bilateral Symposium on Energy, Water and Environment” organized by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR);
  • Thursday, October 20: two business trips to the North and South of the Province of Gauteng;
  • Thursday, October 20 from 9:00 am till midday in Johannesburg: BonelliErede, in cooperation with Werksmans Attorneys, the Italian Consulate General in Johannesburg and SACE, have organized: South Africa – Italy Summit: Doing Business in South Africa”.