Prov­ince courts Hol­ly­wood

Wes­gro aims to en­tice in­vest­ment

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JAN CRONJE

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.”

jan.cronje@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: EPA

A Western Cape trade del­e­ga­tion will meet Hol­ly­wood ex­ec­u­tives this week.

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