4 months ago

Opportunity Issue 103

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


INVESTMENT AND TRADE Flanders is an ideal location for South African business New direct airlink from Brussels will bring South Africa closer to European businesses and markets. example of sharing technology and joint rewards of inventions. More than 50 companies have been formed from spin-offs from large commercial companies such as Dyamand (smart-building solutions), Solithor (battery-cell technology) and Swave Photonics (extended reality). Flanders, the northern Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, is an ideal location for South African businesses who want to export or to establish a new business to tap into the 420-million highincome customers of the European Union. Small and beautiful Flanders is three-quarters of the surface of the Gauteng Province but it is an economic powerhouse. The regional GDP of Flanders is around the same as South Africa, but the Belgian population is one-fifth of South Africa’s. The Gini coefficient is one of the lowest in the world, making it not only one of the wealthiest regions in the world, but a place where wealth is also fairly distributed. Chemical cluster The Flanders region has the largest chemical cluster in Europe, mainly based in Antwerp with companies such as Aramco, Ineos, Total, 3M and Du Pont. The region has also a well-developed pharmaceutical and biotech sector. With companies such as Pfizer, Novartis, J&J (Jansen Pharma) and Sanofi, the region provides one of the few places in the world with a fullyintegrated pharmaceutical and biotech sector from invention, financing, development, clinical trials to production and worldwide distribution. The corona vaccine of J&J was developed in Belgium, the Pfizer production plant in Puurs (close to Antwerp) was one of the plants supplying mRNAbased Covid-19 vaccines to countries like South Africa. Microelectronics IMEC ( is an established centre of microelectronics and is the largest integrated nanotech research facility in Europe, employing more than 5 000 people, of which half are PhDs. Chip developers such as NXP, TSC, Intel, Qualcom and Infineon combine their R&D efforts to design the latest and smallest chips with additional functionality. A unique IP-sharing model is an industry Beer ABInbev, the largest beer company in the world with more than 169 000 employees, is based in the city of Leuven. The company acquired South African Breweries in 2015 and continues to employ more than 6 500 people in South Africa. More than 230 breweries are based in Belgium and 1 000 different kinds of beers prove our commitment to the art of beer making. Entering Europe In September 2022, Air Belgium started a new flight connection between Brussels and Johannesburg/Cape Town. Thanks to a codeshare agreement with South African-based Airlink, Brussels is also connected to all the major cities in the nine provinces of South Africa and connects directly to Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Freight forwarders can use Air Belgium for the fastest freight delivery (12 hours) to Europe’s capital and the home of NATO. All major shipping companies call the Port of Antwerp-Bruges home. It is the second-largest container port in Europe, has the largest gas terminal and has the biggest car terminal on the continent, transferring more than 2.5-million vehicles per year. Home for South Africans Flanders, Belgium, is attractive for South African companies. It is in the same time zone, Afrikaans is similar to Dutch, and it has top technology in all of the areas where South Africa excels, for example, chemicals, biotech, aerospace, defence and IT. Once a company is established, it can hire local talent or transfer personnel and tap into the different innovation support schemes of the Flanders government and link with strategic research centres such as IMEC (Microelectronics), VIB (Biotech), FlandersMake (Manufacturing, IoT, Automation) and VITO (material science, GIS, Energy). Recent South African companies to establish themselves in Flanders include Simera Sense, CompRSA, SilicoGenesis, G Studio Branding and GAP Resolve. CompRSA (full-service IT), GapResolve Consulting (business & IT consulting), G Studio Branding (online marketing), Mellowcabs (electric vehicles), Maeflynn (high-end design and furniture), SilicoGenesis (AI-based biotech) and Simera Sense (nano satellites). Contact, or Tel: +27 062 497 0928, Trade and Investment Commissioner of FIT Johannesburg.

BRIDGING THE GAP Project Managers are facing new and exciting challenges to enter into a everexpanding innovative, technological environment, while still having to maintain existing infrastructure. To bridge this gap and better manage future projects, the Graduate School of Technology Management offers internationally recognised postgraduate programmes for practising engineers and scientists at honours, masters and doctoral level. The degree programmes address specific industry needs. A strong focus on research in the project management, engineering management, energy systems analysis as well as in the technology and innovation groups, ensures local and international relevance. Degree Programmes (Part-time): • PhD • Masters in Engineering Management (MEM) • Masters in Project Management (MPM) • Masters in Technology and Innovation Management (MTIM) • Honours in Engineering and Technology Management (ETM) Certificate year programmes: • Innovation Management • Asset Management • Engineering Management • Maintenance Management • Project Management Short courses: • Science, Technology and Innovation Policy • Systems Engineering • Technological Entrepreneurship and Innovation • Technology Management

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