SA, Russia set up business council

first_img4 October 2005The Trade and Industry Chamber of South Africa and the Russian Chamber of Commerce have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the two countries establishing a business council to boost trade relations.The agreement was signed in Moscow on Monday ahead of a three-day meeting of the fifth session of the Inter-governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) between South Africa and the Russian Federation.Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Russian Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Petrovich Trutnev are co-chairing the ITEC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.Dlamini-Zuma leads a South African government delegation that includes senior Cabinet ministers. A business delegation comprising representatives from over 30 South African companies is taking part in a business summit coinciding with the ITEC meeting.Potential for growthSpeaking at the signing ceremony at the Russian Chamber of Commerce building on Monday, Russian Natural Resources Department Deputy Minister Valentin Stepankov said a Russian company had recently invested over US$1-billion in South Africa, and he hoped the trade would grow.Stepankov was referring to the Kalahari Manganese Project, launched in February 2005, in which Russian mining company Renova is partnering with South African firm Setshaba Holdings for exploration, mining and processing of manganese ore in the Kalahari Basin.“Our task is to increase the volume of co-operation,” Stepankov said. “Our economic relations have vast potential to increase. In order to expand, we need to increase the number of contracts between our countries.”South African Minerals and Energy Director-General Sandile Nogxina said that while the two countries had conducted fruitful business in the past, this had been done in an unstructured manner.Nogxina said a number of South African companies, such as brewer SABMiller, diamond producer De Beers and Mvela Holdings, were already operating in Russia. However, he urged businesses from both countries to seize the opportunities provided by the ITEC.“The Russian companies operating in our country have been taking full advantage of changes meant to attract more direct investment, especially in mining, trade and industry and in the agricultural sector,” Nogxina said.Overcoming distanceA member of a South African business delegation accompanying the government delegation on the trip, former ambassador to Russia Gerrit Olivier, said both countries were at the stage of “opening doors to each other”.“South Africa regards Russia as being far away,” Olivier said. “One thing that could be done is to remove visa restrictions,” he said, adding that both countries needed direct flights to avoid the over eight-hour wait for reconnecting flights in Dubai.South Africa’s ambassador to Eastern Europe, Delarey Van Tonder, said trade relations between the two countries remained essentially underdeveloped due to Russia’s profound economic transformation.“South Africa’s multi-nationals remain active in Moscow with substantive investment in the minerals, mining, banking, alcohol beverage and hospitality sectors,” Van Tonder said.He added that since the ITEC’s inception in 1999 – during the official visit of former President Nelson Mandela to Moscow – four sessions had been held and progress had been made on minerals and energy.Export potential had also been identified in the automotive, ostrich, wine, fruit and canning industries, he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Man in the street, South Africa 2010 fan

first_img7 April 2010 “We are waiting … It is time for the people to stop putting us down and to come see for themselves that Africa can do it.” So says Gordon Mokonyane, Johannesburg resident, family man, Orlando Pirates fan – and supporter of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ South Africa. Like many football-crazy South Africans, Mokonyane has been waiting impatiently since 15 May 2004, when it was announced that the Fifa World Cup would be heading to African soil for the first time in its 80-year history. If you are a Johannesburg resident, you might have seen Mokonyane. He is one of those people who tries to make a living selling mobile phone chargers, caps and sunglasses at busy intersections. He is one of those people who most of the time is ignored. But he’s not fussed, as they say here. “It is a job. It lets me put food on the table for my wife and daughter, and I get to spend the whole day outdoors.” Mokonyane seems to have a permanent smile on his face, but it is when the subject of football is broached that his eyes truly light up. Mokonyane is a supporter of top-flight Premier Soccer League team Orlando Pirates, as evidenced by his faded black kit, which he wears most days as he trades at different intersections around Johannesburg’s traffic-heavy northern suburbs. He doesn’t get to watch as many live football games as he would like, “but sometimes it is better to earn money than to enjoy yourself,” he says with a nod and a wink. Mokonyane’s forward-thinking manner has served him well though, as he recently found out that his brother-in-law’s ticket applications were successful and that he will be able to take his wife to two World Cup matches. “We are going to go watch Argentina against Korea Republic at Soccer City and Slovenia against the USA at Ellis Park,” he says. “It’s not Bafana Bafana or Brazil, my two favourite teams, but I don’t care. This is our World Cup, and I will be there.” He does admit, however, that seeing a player like Lionel Messi in the flesh will be a highlight for him. “For many people like me in South Africa, soccer is a way to escape. We live it,” he said as he stepped out into the road, winding through the afternoon rush hour traffic, flashing his trademark smile at a passing car. Mokonyane will be at the World Cup, and it is because of people like him that Africa’s first World Cup will long be remembered. Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

Trade progress with NAFTA

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest President Donald Trump announced in August that the U.S. and Mexico have reached a deal on terms to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), putting pressure on Canada to reach agreement with the two nations jointly or through separate bilateral agreements.“The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to keep up with 21st Century innovations. And we mutually pledge to work together with Mexico to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency, and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products,” said Sonny Perdue, USDA Secretary. “This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers.“We now hope that Canada will see the need to settle all of the outstanding issues between our two nations as well, and restore us to a true North American Free Trade Agreement.”The news of the progress was well received by the agricultural community.“This is the kind of trade news we have been waiting for. In a time when the U.S. economy is booming our farmers have been left behind. Open markets and good trade agreements will give American agriculture the opportunity to be a part of this booming economy. So we encourage the Administration to keep moving forward with Canada to address their anticompetitive milk pricing provisions. We need negotiators to convince Canadian officials that they, too, will benefit from a revised treaty. We are hopeful that the value of a continued and improved NAFTA for all will bring everyone back to the negotiating table,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Based on the gains both sides have seen with NAFTA, we expect this new ‘U.S.-Mexico Preliminary Agreement in Principle’ to build on that success for our farmers and ranchers. No trade deal is perfect, however. There is room for improvement, especially in provisions that affect U.S. fruit and vegetable growers, and we will continue to call for a resolution to those issues and a final deal that works for all of agriculture.”The National Farmers Union (NFU) also supports the administration’s stated intent to renegotiate NAFTA and fix the systemic issues that disadvantage family farmers and rural communities. NFU believes the nation’s trade deficit and lost sovereignty are a result of a “free trade” agreement framework that began with NAFTA in 1994 and has replicated in U.S. trade deals over the past 25 years.“Today’s movement on NAFTA renegotiations is a positive step towards putting in place a trade deal that rewrites the current rules of international trade to put family farmers and ranchers on an even playing field with multinational corporations,” said Rob Larew, NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. “While this is an important step, there is still much work to be done on the part of U.S. negotiators to secure balanced trade and renewed sovereignty for American agriculture. Farmers Union urges the administration to work tactfully with our Mexican and Canadian trading partners to institute a new, fair trade NAFTA.”last_img read more

This startup lets you use your smartphone to reduce 3D printing costs

first_imgTags:#3d printing#smart clothing#wearables#Wiivv Wearables Related Posts David Curry Online clothes shopping has surged in the past few years, as consumers become more confident buying before trying. However, everyone has had one bad experience with size, length or fit and had to return or live with the mistake.Wiivv Wearables wants to make the fear of a wrong size a thing of the past, by combining a 3D printer scanner with a smartphone. The measurements are then sent to the cloud, manufactured on a 3D printer, and sent to the customer.See Also: GE spends billions to print 3D piles of IIoT moneyThe Vancouver-based startup only sells insoles at the moment, but the team is interested in expanding to fashion and sportswear in the future.Cuts costs from $300 to $753D printing reduces the costs of insoles by nearly half, from $300-600 at an orthotics to $75 from the app. Wiivv also claims that the scanner is more accurate than an orthotics, so the insole may provide even more comfort to the customer.The system only requires five photos of the foot at different positions to build an accurate model. We could see the same functionality being applied to the waist, chest, or legs to obtain accurate body measurements in a few minutes, though jackets and jeans may require more data than an insole.3D printing has not democratized manufacturing in the way some would have liked, 3D printers are still too expensive for most people and too complex for beginners. Wiivv could be a nice midway point for manufacturing, allowing customers to customize their clothes to fit and look exactly how they want, and get them shipped at a reasonable price. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

Man hacked to death in North 24Parganas

first_imgKolkata: A youth identified as Asif Gazi (35) was hacked to death by a woman on Tuesday morning at Bashirhat in North 24-Parganas.The woman and her two associates were reportedly beaten up by local residents before they were handed over to the police. According to sources, the woman identified as Maruva Bibi lives at Matia in Bashirhat. Her husband Azizul Dafadar, who is a cook, lived in Kolkata. Bibi claimed that Gazi was a Bangladeshi resident and he worked in a local bheri. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataShe said he frequently disturbed her as he knew that her husband lived in Kolkata most of the time. She further said Gazi told her to leave her husband and get intimate with him. Dafadar’s mother claimed that her son and daughter-in-law used to reside in a house near her home. When Dafadar used to leave home for work, Gazi used to visit her with an intention to have physical relationship with her. On Tuesday morning, Bibi along with Dafadar and one of his friend arrived at Kholapota More in Bashirhat on a bike where Gazi was having tea at a roadside tea stall. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBibi went to Gazi and started interacting with him. After a few minutes, she allegedly started slapping him. When Gazi tried to defend, Bibi took out a knife and started stabbing him. Local residents rushed to stop Bibi from attacking Gazi and managed to nab all three of them and snatch the knife. Gazi was declared brought dead after he was rushed to a local hospital. Bibi and her two associates were manhandled by the local residents. The trio was assaulted in front of the police. Later, three of them were arrested. It is suspected that Bibi stabbed Gazi as he harassed her. Cops are trying to find if there is some other angle in the case.last_img read more