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Chinese tourists have shown an increased interest for the Russia World Cup

Major Chinese online travel agencies have confirmed that Chinese tourists are showing more and more interest in Russia, the host country for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

According to the agencies, the number of airline tickets reserved for major venues such as Moscow and St. Petersburg are up by 50% year-on-year for the period of 14 June – 15 July 2018.

Travel packages have increased, which means hotels around the 12 major arenas are being booked out, with less than a month to go before the world’s biggest soccer tournament kicks off.

According to the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation, at least 1.5 million overseas visitors are expected in Russia during the tournament, with expenses amounting to over 140 million euros (USD 165 million).

The agencies also noted that Shanghai fans have placed the most orders for World Cup-related travel, followed by Beijing and Chengdu. About six of the top 10 cities with the largest number of World Cup game attendees are from second-tier cities.

Source: chinatravelnews.com

 

Iconic game between Mamelodi Sundowns and Barcelona

South African soccer fans are delighted to have first-hand experience of one of the most iconic games to take place in the country on Wednesday night. Mamelodi Sundowns will take on FC  Barcelona at FNB Stadium in a friendly match to commemorate a century of Nelson Mandela’s death.

Barcelona agreed to be part of the celebrations and promised to bring players Lionel Messi‚ Louis Suarez‚ Gerald Pique and the outgoing captain Andres Iniesta. The last time these teams played together was in was 2007, where Barcelona won the friendly match with 2-1.

Motsepe Foundation representative, Sizwe Nzimande has confirmed that the Mandela Centenary Cup match will be broadcasted on SABC and Supersport.

Tickets to the game have been sold out, FNB stadium is said to have a full capacity close to 90 000.

Nzimande encouraged the fans to arrive early at the stadium to avoid congestion before the kick-off.

“We have been involved in a series of meetings with Stadium Management‚ planning for the safety of the fans before‚ during and after the game. So far everything is going according to plan‚” he said.

Source: sport24.co.za

#LocalFindsWednesday: Maxhosa by Laduma

South African knitwear and esteemed runway designer, Laduma Ngxokolo started his brand, Maxhosa by Laduma in 2010.

The brand was inspired by the Xhosa culture with the vision to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for Amakrwala – Xhosa initiates – who dress up in new ‘dignified’ formal clothing for six months after their manhood initiation.



Laduma felt inspired to create knitwear that caters for men and women and celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics and drew inspiration from Xhosa beadwork patterns, symbolism and colours.

Since his career took off, Ngxokolo received numerous achievements and captured the hearts of fashion lovers, both locally and abroad, more specifically London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York. In 2016, the Design Indaba awarded Ngxokolo’s shawl the coveted title of ‘The Most Beautiful Object in SA’.

Here are some signature Maxhosa by Laduma collections (courtesy of Maxhosa.co.za):

– The Mtanom’gquba collection celebrates dark skin tones in contrast with bright hues to elevate the appreciation of colour diversity. It captures the beauty of being truly African in a modern context that seeks an eternal way of communicating culture through fashion.

– Socks collection – Maxhosa believes that your feet carry you to an occasion you never anticipated you’d appear in

– My Heritage, My Inheritance which was dedicated to his late mother Lindelwa Ngxokolo, whose dream as a knitwear in the 80s was to travel to Paris to see high-end fashion. Maxhosa made his mother dream come true when he was invited by the Labo Ethinik Fashion Week to showcase his 2013 knitwear.

The brand has also received numerous accolades, including:
– 2014 Premium International Best Emerging Designer for SS15 Menwear
– 2014 Africa Fashion International Emerging Designer of the year award
– 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa Award
– 2016 Fashion Designer of the Year Southern Africa: ABRYANZ Style and Fashion Awards
– 2017 Pride of Africa: Africa Fashion Week Barcelona Awards

Source : maxhosa.co.za

The Africa Travel Indaba kicks off

The 26th Africa Travel Indaba is currently underway at Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban for the next three days. It is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar which showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.

The CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona says she is looking forward to hosting and providing the necessary platforms to grow and create opportunities for Africa to shine in the travel and tourism industry.

This year, SA Tourism has partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations. The event will identify 100 experiences, attractions and destinations around South Africa that have strong historical and social ties to his life.

Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom welcomed delegates to the event. “We are about to ring the bell that signals the start of trading at Africa’s Travel Indaba, and what makes this significant is that it symbolises that our continent is open for tourism business.”

Hanekom mentioned that Africa’s share of the global tourism pie has not yet reached its potential.

“Buyers, you are ahead of the curve and I have no doubt that you will reap rich rewards from your buying decisions in the next days. And, sellers from all over the continent, we know that increased demand is the engine for growth of the tourism economy in our different countries.”

He also stated that the event is the result of collaboration between the bid parties, South African Tourism and the South African Government and the owners and operators of attraction and facilities.

“All the hard work everyone has put in behind the scenes for the past year, all the meeting and planning- it’s about to pay off.”

Source: tourism.gov.za

 

 

 

SA ranks 2/115 in the 2017 Open Budget Survey

South Africa ranks 2 out of 115 nations, making the country the second most transparent system after New Zealand,
and leading Sweden and Norway that rank at 3rd and 4th respectively.

The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only comparative and independent assessment of fiscal transparency, oversight, and participation at the national level. The survey is carried out by independent researchers who respond to a set of factual questions in each of the 115 countries assessed. Each country’s results are then reviewed by an anonymous expert, and governments are also given an opportunity to provide their comments.

The survey examines formal participation in the budget process at the national level. The 2017 OBS also assessed the core institutions of representative democracies by evaluating novel approaches to formal public participation in budgeting.

Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela said: “Transparency is an important aspect of good governance, and transparent decision making is critical for the public sector to make sound decisions and investments, while also attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

“Transparency creates an environment for effective decision-making. The most frequently cited argument for transparency is information should be accessible to enable citizens to actively participate in policymaking and hold leaders accountable for their decisions, and ultimately influence which decisions are taken and why. At a more basic level, transparency is critical for decision-makers, as it assists them to formulate policy, improve service provision, and manage resources responsibly.”

The OBS 2017 report states that ‘Sub-Saharan Africa showed the largest decline in transparency in this round, yet the region drove much of the improvement in transparency in the 2015 survey.’ It also notes that ‘this recent decline in transparency overall is significantly less than the gains found in previous rounds of the survey; which means that government budgets are still considerably more transparent today than they were a decade ago.’

Follow the conversation on #CompetitiveSA

Copy: Brand South Africa

Cultural Centre Promotes African Week in Sao Paulo

Angola Press Agency Luanda Luanda
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

The African Cultural Centre jointly with the consulates in Angola, South Africa, Cabo Verde, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Mozambique and Egypt, will hold on May 21-28 the African week in Sao Paulo city (Brazil), under the celelbration of the Africa Day.

This will be the first event of this kind to take place in Sao Paulo city, whose aim is to show to the Brazilian people the variious domains of the Africa capacities and potentialities, presenting a contemporary continent, thus divulging, valuing and promoting its African culture.

The event is also intended to eliminate stereotypes associated to African countries, disclose the African contributions on sectors such as economy, culture, gastronomy and contribute to boost business between Brazil and this continent.

Angola will be represented by Victoria Models and fashion designer, Loyd Ana Vasconcelos on behalf of AnaLoyd brand, participations are open to business people, artists, musicians, writers, painters, chefs, among others, promoting their art and the Angolan culture and values.

– allAfrica.com

China ranks No 2 in internet talents among BRICS countries

Wang Keju in Wuzhen
Displayed with permission from China Daily

China ranks second in the number of internet talents after India among the BRICS countries, according to a report released at the 4th World Internet Conference on Monday.

The 2017 Internet Talent Development Report, complied by the National Academy of Innovation Strategy in Beijing, shows that the number of internet talents in China accounts for 27% among the five countries, while India takes up 52.2%, almost as twice large as China.

The number of internet talents is distributed unevenly worldwide, said Ni Guangnan, a researcher at the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“Chinese IT talents are highly competitive in innovation ability, diligence and other aspects, but enterprises at present are facing the pressure of a lack of talents,” he said.

In China, the major eight enterprises such as Huawei, Tencent, China Mobile have a total demand of about 169,000 internet talents this year. However, the major eight universities including Peking University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University can only provide about 14,900.

The report also shows that emerging internet startups are in a fierce contest with established internet companies for these talents.

Startups offer higher salaries to attract talents than the three major internet companies – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT). The average salary in some new companies, including DiDi and Meituan, is higher than BAT by 21%, according to the report.

Startups offer higher salaries to attract talents than the three major internet companies – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT). The technical employers with one to three years’ work experience in some new companies, including DiDi and Meituan, earn higher salaries than employees of BAT by 21%, according to the report.

“In a world where the boundaries between the internet and traditional industry are blurring, companies need the best talent to keep on top of the game,” said Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group.

– China Daily

SA Experts to take part in Russia’s Small Business Forum of the SCO and BRICS

[OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT]

A large delegation from South Africa will attend the 3rd Forum on Small Business of the SCO and BRICS Regions, which will take place om 28-29 September in the City of Ufa in Russia. Speakers from RSA will take part in the plenary session and a number of discussion meetings. Representatives of the business society and governmental bodies will participate in the Forum in order to strengthen and widen ties with entrepreneurs from Russia and other countries, as well as to find new business partners.

The Third Forum on Small Business of the SCO and BRICS Regions takes place in Ufa (Russia, Republic of Bashkortostan) on September 28-29, 2017. Over 1,300 delegates are expected to come from over 20 Russian regions and from abroad, including India, China, Brazil, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

South African experts will speak at the plenary session Peculiarities, Role, and Place of Small Business in the SCO and BRICS Regional Economies. Achievements and Challenge as well as at the sessions Youth Entrepreneurship: A Major Vector of Business Cooperation in the SCO and BRICS, as well as Barrier-Free Cooperation in the SCO and BRICS. Among RSA’s speakers are the following:

  • Тебохо Секлохо Мешак, руководитель молодежной организации Next Generation, координатор молодежной контактной группы БРИКС в ЮАР, представитель Молодежного предпринимательского совета;
  • José Andre,  Managing Director at CAB Capital (PTY) Ltd;
  • Craig Appel, Department of Small Business Development.

The forum is organised by the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan, State Committee of the Republic of Bashkortostan for Entrepreneurship and Tourism, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The forum is supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the SCO Business Council.

The highlight of the forum is the plenary session Peculiarities, Role, and Place of Small Business in the SCO and BRICS Regional Economies. Achievements and Challenges attended by the Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, heads of relevant federal and regional ministries, representatives of the expert community and international delegations.

The list of the invited speakers includes the First Deputy Chairperson of the Russian Government Igor Shuvalov, Official Secretary – Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Oleg Fomichev, Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov, Vice-President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Elena Dybova, Director General of the SME Corporation Aleksandr Braverman, Director General of the Russian Export Center Petr Fradkov, Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Svetlana Chupsheva, Vice-President of Business Russia Nonna Kagramanyan, Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council Sergey Kanavsky, President of the all-Russian NGO for small and medium-sized business OPORA RUSSIA Aleksander Kalinin, as well as the representatives of China and Kyrgyzstan. The session will be moderated by Farkhad Samedov, Deputy Prime-Minister of the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

During the plenary session, the participants will discuss the regional peculiarities of small business development and the most promising market niches for entrepreneurs. The delegates will estimate the role of small business in various economies and analyze incentives for small business in Russian and the SCO and BRICS countries.

The forum will feature sessions on barrier-free cooperation in the SCO and BRICS; financial, legal, and infrastructural support to small business; support to export-oriented business. The participants will touch upon the issues of franchising, youth entrepreneurship, new digital technologies, etc. Special attention will be paid to the best practices of Russian and international small businesses. During the practical session, the participants will discuss the main mistakes of entrepreneurs, investment attraction mechanisms, and solutions to business obstructions.

Additional information support will be provided at the consultation platforms with representatives of the small business supporting organizations: Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Corporation on Small Business Development, Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Russian Export Center, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, Business Russia, etc.

Apart from that, both days of the forum the participants will be offered to visit Business Without Borders, an international track of presentations of delegations and individuals. This initiative will help small businesses find interested partners, build relationships with decision makers, negotiate, and conclude promising contracts.

Official website: http://sco-brics.ru/.

MTN Bushfire 2017 presents ‘Bring Your Fire’ – Environmental Sustainability

For the past decade, BRING YOUR FIRE has been MTN Bushfire’s inspiring call to action, a concept that encourages the proactive contribution of the individual towards social change. Your Fire is your energy, your spirit, your passion, and your drive to make a difference.

In 2017 MTN Bushfire will take BRING YOUR FIRE to a whole new level with the introduction of the BRING YOUR FIRE ZONE, a dedicated space that will articulate and manifest this call to action around a specific theme. The theme for this year’s BRING YOUR FIRE theme will be ‘*Environmental Sustainability*’.

MTN Bushfire 2017 is partnering with a host of organizations to present a truly interactive and creative space that will engage with the myriad issues related to environmentalism and sustainability more broadly, including arts sustainability in the region. These activities will live not only at the Festival, but also before and after the event.

Within this theme, MTN Bushfire 2017 will also be further committing to become a more carbon-friendly event with this year seeing an increased focus on recycling and an insistence that all vendors at the festival use
packaging that is bio degradable.

Everyone is invited to become a pro-active contributor and to #BRINGYOURFIRE. For more information, visit: www.bush-fire.com.

South African Tourism makes big push to lure Chinese visitors

Yang Feiyue
Displayed with permission from China Daily

South African Tourism, which held events in Beijing on  Feb 27 and in Shanghai on March 1, will hold its next event in Hong Kong on 3 March.

This year it is focusing on the excitement, surprise, joy and awe awaiting Chinese visitors to South Africa.

“We are proud to invite visitors to encounter the jaw-dropping ‘Wow!’ moments, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unforgettable adventures found nowhere else in the world,” says Bradley Brouwer, the president of the Asia Pacific for South African Tourism.

“South Africa casts a spell because it is not manufactured and mundane but authentically raw and unfiltered, which is exactly what today’s travelers seek,” he says.

A total of 117,000 Chinese visitors from China visited South Africa last year, representing a 38 percent year-on-year increase.

South Africa offers Chinese visitors compelling experiences combining pristine nature, wildlife, a city lifestyle, affordable luxury and amazing adventures from mountain hiking to shark cage-diving.

To encourage a seamless travel experience for Chinese citizens, South African Tourism has established visa facilitation centers in nine Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

– Repubhub