SPECIAL FEATURE Convention Bureau signed 52 events or conferences in the course of 2019/20 but of course most, if not all, of these events will not take place. The Radisson Hotel Group has come up with “Hybrid Solutions” as a response to the “new normal”. Incorporating Hybrid Rooms and Hybrid Meetings, the idea is to offer virtual participation options and hybrid formats for small local gatherings, while also broadcasting to remote attendees and satellite locations. Hotels will offer teams to set up the equipment. Park Inn by Radisson Newlands (pictured on the previous page) is one of the group’s six hotels in Cape Town.
Investment The province has a dedicated investment agency, Wesgro. The Investment Promotion Unit of Wesgro has been working with various regions within the Western Cape to attract investment and accelerate exports. Seminars have been held in the Cape Winelands, the West Coast and the Garden Route. In 2019/20, the biggest investments were in renewable energy and manufacturing. Other important sectors are agro-processing, aviation, business services, education and training, financial services, real estate, ICT, light manufacturing, oil and gas, timber, tourism, waste beneficiation and clean energy. Encouraging investment in Cape Town has been recognised as something that needs a fulltime office and a strategy. Invest Cape Town is an
agency of the city that works to create the best possible conditions to attract investors. Areas of focus include broadband access, energy security, the reduction of red tape and improving air access to the city.
Economy Finance, business services and real estate combined contribute 28% to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Western Cape. The financial services and insurance sector are key components of the economy. Many of South Africa’s biggest companies have their headquarters in Cape Town. Asset management and venture capital companies have been growing steadily. Although agriculture only accounts for 4.3% of GDP on its own, the sector is responsible for the fruit and vegetables that contribute to agro-processing which accounts for nearly 40% of the province’s export basket. (Agroprocessing accounts for 8.1% of GDP.) Citrus, wine, apples and pears, grapes, fruit juice, fruit and nuts and tobacco all appear in the top 10 of the province’s exports. Seventy percent of South Africa’s beverage exports come from the Western Cape. Grapes and wine sales to Europe remain strong, but the Chinese market is becoming increasingly important. The province has a diverse manufacturing sector ranging from textiles, clothing, footwear and furniture to coke and refined petroleum products. Excluding agro-processing, other manufacturing makes up 6.9% of GDP. ■
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