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Monday, May 20, 2013

It's onwards and upwards for Johannesburg

Johannesburg is flourishing!  In addition to an impressive and ever-increasing list of international business events choosing Joburg as their host city, the city continues making impressive  strides in the global arena, with the the Joburg Convention & Events Bureau recently announcing and the city’s dramatic improvement in ICCA rankings – an astounding 92 places - from 234 to 142 in the world!

The Convention Bureau team is delighted, placing the credit with the streamlined approach emanating from the formation of and support received from the South African National Convention Bureau [SANCB] and their regional counterpart, the Gauteng Convention and Events Bureau [GCEB].

“Last year was significant for us on a few levels,” says Phelisa Mangcu, acting CEO for Joburg Tourism.  In light of these national and regional developments, at Joburg Tourism, we set out to refine our convention bureau strategy by embarking on an intensive engagement with as many of our industry stakeholders as possible, in order to sharpen our focus. This in turn led to closer working relationships, a better understanding and more collaboration – all essential in submitting the information crucial to the ICCA ranking process, and boding extremely well for future co-operative endeavours.”

In addition the Joburg Convention Bureau formulated and launched their first industry partnership programme, designed for better collaboration between all players in the business events sector in Joburg, in order to attract a greater slice of the global business events pie, targeting events with a particular significance for Joburg. “Interestingly, we’re also seeing an increase in international exhibition brands coming to Joburg,” says Mangcu. “Expo Centre will be hosting the Johannesburg International Motor Show in August, while the first Bauma Africa will take place in September 2013 at Gallagher Convention Centre,”she adds.
As the most powerful commercial centre on the African continent, Johannesburg generates 16% of South Africa's GDP and employs 12% of the national workforce.   Its infrastructure matches leading first world cities, yet the cost of living is far lower.  The city is recognized as the financial capital of South Africa and is home to 74% of Corporate Headquarters.  The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) rates as one of the top 20 exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalization.
Key industries and areas of innovation in Johannesburg include a multiplicity of commercial and creative activities – from banking and finance, gold mining, manufacturing and health sciences to transport, business services and outsourcing, information and communication technologies, automotive, television, film and creative industries, to mention but a few.