Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu will be one of the speakers at the 9th Global Business Roundtable Gathering. File Photo: IOL

DURBAN – Two of the most urgent issues facing the global economy will be centre stage at the 9th Annual Global Business Roundtable (GBR) taking place in Johannesburg towards the end of March.

Achieving Sustainable Global Growth and Even Distribution of Resources is the theme of this year’s gathering which will run from March 27 to 29 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre.

The 2019 event builds on the high-level success of previous summits which have helped turn GBR into an internationally recognised global platform for small, medium- and micro-sized entities (SMMEs), corporates and government to access trade and investment opportunities across various economic sectors.

As always, a highlight of the GBR is the speaker line-up which this year features keynote speakers Minister Lindiwe Zulu (Department of Small Business Development), Deputy Minister Madala Masuku (Department of Economic Development), Professor Thuli Madonsela, former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, and Ambassador Bene Mpoko of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Our speaker line-up is always a highlight of our programme – and this year is no exception. We are anticipating that delegates will glean powerful insights and knowledge from our keynote speakers that will inspire them for the rest of the programme’s activities and into the future," said Ronnie Mulaudzi, GBR programme director. 

With its emphasis on facilitating focused trade and Investment summits within the overall event, GBR is uniquely designed to bring countries and global players under a single roof for business match-making opportunities with investors, strategic partners, donors and more.  

Over the past eight years, the GBR platform has become known for its ability to host a series of continental and country-hosted roundtable discussions. In particular, the popular country roundtable discussions are geared towards promoting and highlighting those sectors in specific countries that are open for investment. As part of this, real-time projects are showcased at GBR by representatives who are seeking technical or financial partners.

"This year we are focusing on sustainable global growth and the even distribution of resources. The energy, automotive, agriculture, education, property, and infrastructure sectors will all be represented within this framework – and we welcome all those with a business or development interest in these sectors to be part of this year’s GBR. With our additional emphasis on job creation, we believe that this year’s summit will also be of real benefit to all stakeholders in the global economy," said Mulaudzi. 

As part of its overall mission, GBR is also keenly focused on those areas that are aligned to the business and financial development (including trade and investment opportunities) that are at the heart of its work. These include Science & Technology, Education & Intellectual Development,  Sports, Arts & Culture, Leadership, Governance & Politics and Media & Communications. 

GBR is additionally recognised for its emphasis on the importance of Family & Society and the spiritual development of those participating in the global economy. “High moral values and ethics in the way we do business are a fundamental aspect of everything that we do,” affirms Mulaudzi. 

The added value for those delegates participating in the upcoming Johannesburg GBR is tapping into a network of 80 countries. Currently GBR’s global footprint spans 80 countries - with plans to be active in 100 countries by 2020. 

With 100 exhibitors and around 500 delegates a day, GBR represents an enriching and impactful opportunity for businesses, organisations, individuals and agencies involved in the global economy.