Province courts Hollywood
Wesgro aims to entice investment
A TOP level Western Cape trade and investment delegation is headed to California this week to meet Hollywood executives and technology companies in Silicon Valley.
Organised by Wesgro, the province’s marketing, investment and trade promotion agency, the delegation is being led by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde.
The aim of the trip is to increase US investment in the Western Cape.
Over seven days, delegates will visit Hollywood and Silicon Valley, before heading to a major tourism trade show in Las Vegas.
Tim Harris, chief executive of Wesgro, said the delegation would meet “major Hollywood studios” to promote Cape Town as a film destination.
The delegation would be accompanied on this part of the trip by Nico Dekker, chief executive of Cape Town Film Studios.
On Thursday the team will head to the technology capital of Silicon Valley, where they will meet South African tech pioneer Roelof Botha.
Botha, who grew up in Hout Bay and attended Hoerskool Jan van Riebeeck and UCT, is a partner at Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s largest venture capital firms.
Accompanied by Alexandra Fraser of Silicon Cape, the team will present Botha with an overview of the province’s technology sector and discuss with him how to attract investment.
De Lille will also present Botha with a certificate of recognition as a “global ambassador for the City of Cape Town”.
On Friday the delegation will meet members of the SABLE Accelerator Network, in a bid to build relationships with South Africans living and working in Silicon Valley.
According to its website, the network is a group of South African expatriates who provide “mentoring and consulting services to South African companies, entrepreneurs and institutions”.
The delegation will also hold meetings with other Silicon Valley companies.
They will later head to the major IMEX trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
De Lille, who is already in the US, said the trip was to show “Cape Town is open for business”.
“We have so much to offer even the best and biggest companies in the world and we want to give them the reassurance that Cape Town is the place for them operate in,” she said.
Winde said the trip would “strengthen trade and investment links”.
“We will be focusing on business tourism, film, and information and communica- tion technologies.”
Winde said arrivals to Cape Town International Airport from the US increased by 16 percent last year, making it the province’s third largest market.
“Last year, more than 162 000 US tourists travelled to the province. We’ll be seeking to put agreements in place which will allow us to build on this momentum. At IMEX, we’ll present our strong business tourism offering at one of the world’s largest trade and buying platforms.”
A Western Cape trade delegation will meet Hollywood executives this week.