Members of the Saaris community (Saarland, innovation & standards), a regional German development agency supported and funded by the Saarland government, visited South Africa on a five-day visit to improve its competitiveness and strengthen local ties within the sub-Saharan economy.
SICK Automation South Africa hosted the delegates on the first day, and met with the National Product Manager for Identification and Measuring, Mark Madeley, also a former graduate of The German Society for International Co-operation program (GIZ). GIZ supports people in acquiring specialist knowledge, skills and management expertise.
“The objective of the Saaris delegation was to meet strategic companies and industry specific customers in order to gain a better business understanding of local market needs, investment opportunities, as well as forge relationships and share ideas through networking opportunities” Madeley explains.
“South Africa is an important economic engine within Africa, especially with its diverse industries and Special Economic Zones (SEZ), like in the automotive sector, for example. These sector specific economic zones provide investors with attractive tax benefits and investment incentives whilst giving structured access to local supply chains and trade free zones.” Madeley adds.
The range of services provided by Saaris include vocational training programmes for skilled members of staff and executives, offering technical and business management advice to companies as well as activities for the development of new sales markets in Germany and abroad.
The registered association also focuses on promoting innovation and technology, the securing and acquisition of skilled labour as well as on providing consultancy services to companies with a view on technological and demographic change.