The South African Chamber of Commerce was invited to address the Association of Event Organisers at its International Dinner on 15 January 2014 on the subject of trade and business development with sub-Saharan Africa.

Every year the AEO hosts a number of International Dinners which present a great opportunity for UK organisers and other event professionals with international exhibitions to learn about opportunities and benefits, share intelligence/market knowledge and discuss issues in a particular country or region.

Chamber Executive Committee member Carol Freeman provided a robust overview of the most important dynamics facing those entities seeking to enter the African market. Commercial interest in the region has surged in recent years due to the continent’s steady average economic growth, which is reported at between 4% and 6% compared with BRIC nations at 5.4%.

In addition to sub-Saharan Africa’s economic prospects, the briefing also considered opportunities within infrastructure and natural resources; sectors that have already experienced significant foreign direct investment (FDI). With 12% of the world’s oil reserves, 40% of its gold, and 80% to 90% of its chromium and platinum, investment in African natural resource extraction looks set to continue. China and Brazil in particular are investing heavily on the continent in order to secure these resources.