September 22, 2021


first_imgNews March 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Turkmenistan TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries Four-year jail term for independent website’s correspondent in Turkmenistan News For the first time, netizens have managed to breach the censorship wall of one of the world’s most closed countries. In response, the regime has targeted them for harsh crackdowns, ready to do whatever it takes to retain its absolute power, even to the point of viewing people with satellite dishes and mobile phones as potential enemies. Hopes that the country would open up with the coming to power of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in 2007 have come to nothing.Turkmenistan, one of the countries most hostile to freedom of expression, is still technologically and financially blocking the growth of the Internet and imposing drastic censorship, resulting in a “Turkmenet” purged of any political or social topic (see the Turkmenistan chapter of the 2011 “Enemies of the Internet” report). In fact, only 2.2% of Turkmen are connected. Yet for those not using a software circumvention tool, social networks – particularly Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, considered to be troublemakers – are blocked. This censorship was extended to Gmail in February 2012.Abadan: Start of the Information War 2.0A deadly explosion at an arms depot in the Ashgabat suburb of Abadan in July 2011 marked the start of the first online information war in Turkmenistan. For the first time, netizens managed to breach the wall of silence imposed by the regime by posting on the Internet amateur videos taken with their mobile phones. Most of the videos were sent by emails to contacts abroad who could publish them online easilier.After initially covering up this incident, the authorities were eventually obliged to acknowledge it, though they tried to minimize it. But they quickly reacted by launching a wave of seizures, interrogations and incarcerations, though how many is still unknown.It is thought that dozens of netizens were arrested, at least temporarily. According to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, one policeman allegedly stated that anyone possessing a mobile phone or Internet account with the state-owned operator Altyn Asyr was being monitored. Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) correspondent, and one of the first to cover this incident, was sentenced to five years in prison, then pardoned in response to international pressure. The independent news website Khronika Turkmenistana, hosted abroad, experienced several cyberattacks. Hackers pirated the subscribers’ data, and posted the identity of contributors and commentators in lieu of the site.Mobile phones and satellite dishes under close surveillanceConnection speed has declined since Russian telecom company MTS was ousted from Turkmenistan. The “Central Asia: Censorship and Control of the Internet and Other New Media” briefing paper written by several NGOs claims that the regime, dissatisfied with national operator Altyn Asyr, which had become a monopoly once its only competitor was eliminated, signed a contract with Huawei Technologies (China) and the Finnish-German company Nokia Siemens Networks to increase network capacity and offer new services. It remains to be seen what these companies can achieve in a country whose government routinely monitors netizens.According to the state TV network, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who in 2008 had already declared war on satellite dishes, announced in May 2011 that their number would be limited, complaining that they “spoil the appearance of buildings.” The main reason for this initiative was to prevent the population from escaping the state-controlled media’s relentless propaganda by tuning into Russian, Turkish and Arabic satellite television channels.Technological ambitions up against the censorship wallDuring a speech made in January 2012 just before his programmed “reelection,” Turkmenistan’s President apparently stated his desire to form “a new generation of specialists who have mastered all the modern communications and multi-media technologies” in a future “highly developed information society” who will advance civilization “by the unrestrained flight of human thought.” The President apparently grasped the country’s need to modernize, but refuses to question the censorship system that keeps him in power, even as he strives to bolster his own personality cult. The Eurasianet website sums up the situation as: “Berdymukhamedov’s Failed Internetization.“ March 13, 2020 Find out more December 18, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation March 31, 2020 Find out more TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Turkmenistan News to go further Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan News RSF_en last_img read more

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How I stay connected

first_imgThere are many logical reasons for why you need to be networking, whether job hunting, seeking growth opportunities within your current organization, or making connections with clients, customers, investors, or prospects. In today’s wired, fast-paced business world, strong networking skills are crucial for your success and that of your organization. Before I scare you off, keep in mind that you don’t need to have a broad network to start, you just have to begin with who you know and build from there.While I was on vacation my wife asked me how I stay connected to the market, clients, prospects, employees, and peers. It was clear that she was seeing my routine up close and personal, as we were in close proximity on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (I had nowhere to hide). Her question made me reflect and I realized that I’m now on networking autopilot, so I really had to stop and think about how to answer her. Without realizing it, I have created a rather effective networking routine using technology.So what’s my routine? I scan my email to assure no urgencies popped up overnight – if so, I handle them first. I start my day early and typically get to the office by 7:15, after a stop at StarBucks. I order using the mobile app, so I am not in the store more than 30 seconds. If I see client or industry news of value to the rest of our team, I share it immediately. In essence, I have become a news broadcaster for the rest of our management teams. By 8:15 or so, I am usually ready to start my regular course of business. I try to avoid any meeting prior to 8:30.In the evening, starting around 8 PM or so, I jump back into some evening networking, but on a more personal level. I dedicate no more than hour to looking for ways to personally engage clients on instagram and Facebook, and try to keep up with clients and friends. I’ll also take a final glance at any in-bound, late-in-day emails, that I may need to address early the next day.Over time this process evolved and I don’t believe I consciously developed this routine. Those that know me, understand that I am a people person, and genuinely enjoy engaging with people. I’m not suggesting that you too must be in order to be successful, however, I do believe setting aside specific times to engage your audience in personal, relevant ways will open a variety of opportunities for you and your organization. After firing up NPR on Alexa, to get my dose of current affairs, I settle into a comfy “cow chair” and open up my laptop. I never start my business day by sitting behind my desk. I scan my Google Calendar first so I feel I have control of the day. Whatever meetings I have, often stimulate some networking or engagement triggers. I check my Twitter feed, DMs and pop out a few tweets relevant to the space we are in. I want to show I am connected to the industry and abreast of trends. I’ll seek out a few people to personally engage, and typically do so with a small group of market influencers in banking and fintech. By the way, I use Sprout Social for feed management and maintain lists of clients, prospects, media , nd employees, to make life easier. Next, I open Salesforce and review the “Chatter” function. This tells me who within the company is engaging whom. This gives me a chance to engage employees, ask some questions and encourage their own engagement with clients and prospects. This also allows me to tag others, which turns the feed into a collaborative conversation. The Salesforce feed really helps me focus my networking efforts. LinkedIn has become very important to me. I check the inbox and my feed. The feed not only offers me important insight, but gives me a chance to respond to posts. This engagement has served me well. Several of us at Geezeo now use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which helps practically force one-on-one engagement. 34SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bryan Clagett Bryan is on the executive team and singularly focused on driving revenue growth through a variety of new initiatives that help financial services and fintech become ever more relevant to … Web: Detailslast_img read more

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Loan Zone: An analytics-based approach to risk-based auto lending

first_imgCredit unions have made notable gains in the auto loan market in recent years, driven in part by the lower rates they have offered. Going forward, a new approach to setting rates—an analytics-based approach—should give credit unions new power to stay competitive when adjusting in response to changes in federal rates.CUs’ Recent Market GainsCredit union have expanded the number of auto loans they hold in the market. According to NCUA 5300 call report data compiled by CU Rise Analytics, of 108 million auto loans in the market as of the second quarter of 2017, 23 million (21.29 percent) were funded by credit unions. This increased to 24 million by Q2 2018. Additionally, in 2017, the number of CU auto loans grew 9 percent, while for the overall auto loan market, the number of loans grew only 4.8 percent. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

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Griffin out for rest of playoffs, Paul has hand surgery

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin is out for the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his left quadriceps tendon and Chris Paul had right hand surgery Tuesday, leaving the stunned Los Angeles Clippers without their top two players for the remainder of their first-round series against Portland.The team said Griffin had an MRI that revealed no further structural damage to the quad that he originally injured in a game on Dec. 25. He missed 41 games and an additional four as punishment for punching the team’s assistant equipment manager, returning on April 3. He’s expected to be ready for training camp in September. Griffin wasn’t made available to reporters.• RELATED: What now for Clippers after Chris Paul and Blake Griffin injuries?“You feel bad for Chris, you feel bad for Blake,” said guard J.J. Redick, who is dealing with his own nagging left heel injury. Paul had surgery to repair a hand fracture sustained in the third quarter of Monday night’s 98-84 loss in Game 4 that allowed Portland to tie the best-of-seven series 2-2. He appeared to catch his hand on Gerald Henderson’s jersey.“C.P. is a reacher. He probably has the best hands in the league. At that time it got caught in the wrong place,” coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s amazing how things change for you.”Griffin averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while Paul averaged 23.8 points, 7.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the series.Game 5 is Wednesday at Staples Center.“We still have home court. No one has won a road game yet in this series,” Rivers said. “Now we have to find a way of winning tomorrow and that’s as far as we can think right now. My job with the guys is to make sure that they’re ready and focused. It’s easy when you have the injuries we have to think all kinds of other stuff.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Rivers had not yet decided who will start in place of Griffin and Paul.“We’ve had 10 different lineups on the board,” he said. “Most likely it will be a pretty big lineup.”The Clippers are 25-21 in regular-season games and 1-1 in the playoffs without Paul, who missed two games against Houston in last year’s Western Conference semifinals. “We have a very competitive basketball team and they have proven that all year,” Rivers said. “We have won games before without key guys and we can win games in the future without key guys.”In the final two weeks of the regular season, the Clippers won by two points at Oklahoma City and by three points in overtime at Utah without Griffin and Paul.Now in his 10th season, Paul has yet to win a championship.“Chris is one of the great competitors that the league has ever seen,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “For him to go down right now it’s brutal. He’s worked his whole life to get here.”Paul controls the Clippers’ offense like few others in the NBA. However, they installed a motion offense for when Paul wasn’t on the floor this season, freeing up scoring guards Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers while letting anyone else get the ball moving.“We were very effective at it,” Doc Rivers said. “Thank God we did that because now playing without him we’ll be in motion for 48 minutes.”For the third straight year in the playoffs — all under Rivers — the Clippers have been plagued by bad luck. The franchise that began in Buffalo, moved to San Diego and then Los Angeles has never advanced past the second round.“Winning in the playoffs is tough and more so than anyone else, we’ve really proven that over the last three years,” Redick said.In 2014, voice recordings of then-owner Donald Sterling surfaced during the playoffs in which he made racist comments, leading to him being banned by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who forced the sale of the team. Last year, the Clippers were within a game of reaching the conference finals for the first time in franchise history, only to blow a 3-1 lead and lose the last three games by a combined 46 points to the Rockets.Now, they’ve lost their two All-Stars.“It’s bum’s luck three years in a row,” Rivers said. “You just got to keep going. You wake up in the morning and you feel like we’re going to find a way.”AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Oakland, Calif., contributed to this report.last_img read more

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Mourinho set to take control at United

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |Jose Mourinho was expected to join Manchester United on Friday after drawn-out negotiations, marrying one of the world’s richest clubs with one of the most successful — and outspoken — managers.Mourinho has been in talks with United since Louis van Gaal’s sacking on Monday and British media claimed an agreement is now in place for the former Chelsea boss to fulfil his long-held ambition to manage the Premier League club.United are now set to officially confirm the 53-year-old’s appointment after the deal was delayed due to discussions over Mourinho’s image rights.The 20-time Premier League champions have turned to Mourinho after a frustrating spell since the retirement of Alex Ferguson, with first David Moyes and then van Gaal failing to restore former glories.Mourinho, who has won the Champions League with both Porto and Inter Milan, is said to have been offered a three-year contract that will pay him between £10 million ($14 million, 13 million euros) and £15 million per season.It was also reported Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December, is set to be given bonuses that will pay £5 million and £2.5 million respectively if he leads United to the Champions League or Premier League title.Talks between Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes and United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward have resolved problems with Chelsea’s control of his image rights, paving the way for the charismatic but controversial boss to fulfil his long-held dream of managing the Manchester giants.Carry-out wineMourinho was seen strolling back to his town house in the upmarket London district of Belgravia wearing a smart black suit and carrying a bag from a wine shop on Thursday, shortly before reports emerged that he had agreed the deal.Mourinho, always conscious of his public persona, was said to have spent part of Thursday crafting his message to United fans in a statement which will accompany the club’s announcement of the deal.The former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto boss will take charge of United for the first time when the club face Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on July 22 on the first leg of a two-game tour of China.However, Mourinho should appear on the home bench at Old Trafford before then because he is due to take charge of an England XI in a charity game for Unicef against a Rest of the World XI on June 5.One of the main obstacles to Mourinho’s pursuits of silverware with United will be found across Manchester where his old rival Pep Guardiola is due to start work as City manager next week after moving to Eastlands from Bayern Munich. Mourinho and Guardiola exchanged barbs throughout their time at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively and the renewal of their bitter feud promises to be one of the most fascinating aspect of the coming season.Although United legend Eric Cantona this week claimed Mourinho, renowned for his negative tactics, was not a good fit, former defender Rio Ferdinand was quick to welcome his impending arrival.‘Mourinho way’“I have heard many say the ‘Mourinho way’ is not the Manchester United style of playing football,” Ferdinand said.“However, the Chelsea team that Jose put together first time round when he entered the Premier League played with wingers and hurt teams with quick attacking play.“One thing I can tell Manchester United fans is that they have got themselves a true winner in all aspects. His CV shows success.”United icon Cristiano Ronaldo, now at Real Madrid where he played under Mourinho, added: “I hope United get back to being what they were because it’s an impressive club but in the last years they lacked an identity a bit.”Mourinho is reported to already be lining up new signings as he seeks to bolster an unbalanced squad that limped to a fifth place finish in the Premier League before ending the unlamented van Gaal era by beating Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final on Saturday.Even without the lure of Champions League action next season, Mourinho is hopeful of making several top-class additions.Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who worked with Mourinho at Inter Milan, is one target and on Thursday he hinted a move to Old Trafford could be on the cards.The Sweden striker has left Paris Saint Germain and, asked if there had been an offer from United, Ibrahimovic said with a smile: “I think it’s a great move (by United) — you want action, you bring in Mourinho.“I don’t give guarantees but there are concrete offers from the Premier League, so let’s see what happens.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Megan McSheffrey Serves as Page in Washington State Senate

first_imgFacebook46Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Washington State LegislatureMegan McSheffrey, 15, served as a page in the Washington State Senate during the week of February 22, the seventh week of the 2016 Legislative Session.“Megan was so great,” said Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, who sponsored McSheffrey’s week in the Legislature. “I hope she had a great experience that she will never forget.”During their week at the Capitol, pages assist senators and staff, hear lectures from guest speakers, and attend page school where they create their own bills in a mock committee setting. McSheffrey helped write a bill concerning gender identity bathroom choice. The bill would prohibit using the bathroom based on gender identity, requiring instead a gender reassignment surgery. The pages come together in one of the legislative hearing rooms to debate and vote on their bills. Though her bill was voted down by the committee, McSheffrey said the whole process of researching and having a real debate with her colleagues was fun.“The committee was really exciting,” said McSheffrey.Page school is only a small part of being a page. One of the primary responsibilities is delivering important documents to the many offices around the Capitol campus, which can be intimidating at first. Luckily, there are security guards in every building who are well known among pages for their kindness. McSheffrey said she was nervous when she took a few wrong turns, but quickly found the security staff’s helpful presence.“We are not just sitting in an office doing paperwork,” said McSheffrey. “It feels good being able to help someone with their job.”The page program is open to any Washington student between 14 and 17 years old. While the page experience is a hands-on opportunity for students to learn about their government, McSheffrey said that her favorite part was the connections she made with other pages. She encouraged others interested in the program to go for it.“It is definitely worthwhile,” said McSheffrey. “I want to do it again next year if I am allowed to.”McSheffrey is a sophomore at Northwest Christian High School in Lacey. She loves running track and cross country, and also enjoys horseback riding and vaulting, playing the violin and participating in her church theater. She is looking forward to summer camp.For more information about the Senate Page Program, contact [email protected]last_img read more

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County Launches Online Cultural and Heritage Tours

first_imgThe County Division of Planning has announced the launch of its Cultural and Heritage Virtual Tour series, an interactive platform that includes eight digital tours of interconnected historical, natural, cultural and arts attractions in Monmouth County. Monmouth County is offering local history buffs an early holiday gift. These virtual tours can be viewed by visiting The Cultural and Heritage Virtual Tours program was designed to increase public awareness about the natural, cultural, historic, scenic, architectural, institutional and commemorative sites located in Monmouth County. Each tour has a unique theme which showcases attractions throughout Monmouth County, in categories such as: scenic, historic, architectural, art, cultural, science and technology, military, civic spaces, neighborhoods, crossroad/downtowns/commercial districts, pop, culture, myth/folklore/legends, unique or unusual and more.  Recommended in the 2016 Monmouth County Master Plan and modeled after the federal and state scenic byway programs, the complete series results in a network of tours featuring all 53 municipalities within county lines. Additional sites are currently being considered for inclusion on the byway tours. To nominate a site, email the name, location, a brief description and photo (if possible) of the site to [email protected] MOCO Cultural Byway: The trail begins in Matawan before winding through the heart of the Two River area and down the shoreline to Asbury Park, documenting artistically and culturally significant sites along the way. From the massive satellite installations atop Telegraph Hill in Holmdel, which were once used as an anti-aircraft defense system during the Cold War, to the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, to Monmouth Park in Oceanport, this tour best defines the Jersey Shore experience. The Historic Monmouth Crossroads: A 4-century-old path that winds from the Sandy Hook Bayshore in Highlands through Middletown, Holmdel and Colts Neck, all the way to Millstone. It was a prominent thoroughfare for Colonial and British troops during the Revolutionary War, but there are other surprises along the way, like the Evil Clown of Middletown on State Route 35.center_img Two River-area educators and enthusiasts can tap into local circuits like: Two River Tri-way: This is the shortest tour in the byway series, but it provides historic context regarding the importance of the Two River peninsula in the overall countywide narrative. Beginning in Red Bank, the tour travels to points east along River Road where a trolley once carried passengers between Red Bank and Rumson. Some sites noted on the tour are privately held and not open to the public. “We are bringing residents a new way to discover our county,” Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry said. “These eight interactive story maps take you across the county, encompassing every imaginable point of interest, from Revolutionary War sites to space exploration; from natural landscapes to happenings in downtowns. And from solemn memorials to iconic pop culture landmarks.” Visitors can also take the Ocean Drive tour, which begins on Sandy Hook and heads south along the Atlantic Coast, the County to Coast Byway tour, which extends out from Sea Bright and explores 350 years of local settlement, the South Monmouth Emerald Byway, an exploration of wildlife from Point Pleasant to Manasquan, and Upper Freehold’s Historic Farmland. Bayshore Drive: The tour allows residents and visitors to travel along local streets to explore the region’s downtowns and waterfront destinations. Once comprised of colonies of summertime bungalows and maritime industries, the area is now active year-round. The Bayshore region is characterized by traditional downtowns and denser residential neighborhoods set against the natural beauty of the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bay coastline.last_img read more

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2014 Grey Cup will not see BC Lions playing after Leos spanked by Als

first_imgGrey Cup tickets in Vancouver will be hitting Craigslist in record numbers after the host team for the 2014 Canadian Football League Championsnhips,  the BC Lions, had their hat handed to them 50-17 by the Montreal Alouettes Sunday in the CFL’s Eastern Semi Final.The game was over minutes into the second half when the Als scored on three consecutive possessions — one to conclude the first half and two in the third quarter. Montreal quarterback Jonathan Crompton threw two touchdown passes, backup Tanner Marsh ran for another two and defensive back Jerald Brown returned a fumble 103 yardsBC vaunted defence was no match for the Alouettes with an offence that produced no points until the game was basically over.Shawn Gore and Ernest Jackson scored eight-yard touchdowns for BC. Paul McCallum kicked a first half field goal whileQuarterback Kevin Glenn could not get anything going for BC, going 4-for-15 with 41 passing yards and one interception.Montreal now meets Hamilton in the Eastern Final. BC was playing in the East Semi Final on the cross over after finishing the regular season with a better record than the third-place team — Toronto Argonauts — in the East standings.The winner meets the West Champ in the 2014 Grey Cup, November 30 in Vancouver at BC Place.last_img read more

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Chelsea v Tottenham: match preview, team news, facts and figures

first_imgNacer Chadli (right) could replace the banned Dele AlliKick-off: 8pm, Monday 2 May 2016Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne)Match in a nutshell: Tottenham know they have to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 26 years if they are to retain any hope of winning the Premier League – how Chelsea would love to be the ones to stop them.Five key battles: Including Cesc Fabregas v Mousa DembeleInjuries and suspensionsCHELSEARuled out: Kurt Zouma (knee), Loic Remy (groin), Thibaut Courtois (suspended).TOTTENHAM HOTSPURRuled out: Dele Alli (suspended), Nabil Bentaleb (knee).Fitness tests: Eric Dier (concussion). Possible line-upsChelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro, Willian, Hazard; Costa. Subs from: Amelia, Blackman, Aina, Miazga, Clarke-Salter, Baba, Matic, Colkett, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Kenedy, Falcao, Pato, Traore.Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli; Kane.Subs from: Vorm, Trippier, Davies, Wimmer, Mason, Winks, N’Jie, Carroll, Son, Onomah. Vital statisticsForm guide – last five league matchesChelsea total: W L L W D (7 points)Home: L D D W D (6 points)Tottenham total: D W W D W (11 points)Away: W D W L W (10 points)Top scorers – all competitionsChelsea: Costa 15; Willian 11; Oscar 8, Pedro 8; Fabregas 5; Hazard 4, Traore 4; Cahill 3, Ramires 3, Remy 3; Azpilicueta 2, Ivanovic 2, Kenedy 2, Loftus-Cheek 2, Zouma 2; Falcao 1, Matic 1, Mikel 1, Pato 1, Terry 1.Tottenham: Kane 27; Alli 10, Lamela 10; Eriksen 8; Chadli 7; Son 6; Alderweireld 4; Dembele 4, Dier 4; Carroll 3; Mason 2; Rose 1, Trippier 1, Walker 1.Last five meetings29 November 2015: Tottenham 0 Chelsea 01 March 2015: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 01 January 2015: Tottenham 5 Chelsea 33 December 2014: Chelsea 3 Tottenham 08 March 2014: Chelsea 4 Tottenham 0Chelsea 3 wins, Tottenham 1 win, 1 drawFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Brand South Africa hosts talks with EU Investors

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 07 June 2018 –  Brand South Africa has concluded a meaningful consultation session with the European Union investor community based in South Africa, which will see the country’s marketing and reputation management agency deepen its collaboration and partnership with the EU investment community.Dr Petrus de Kock, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa said: “The consultation session was focused on gathering deeper insights into the experience of business from the EU based in South Africa.We will now refine our strategy to promote South Africa as an investment destination of choice whilst also communicating our findings with the various government departments that work and interact with the EU community in South Africa.”Brand South Africa shared the findings from its International Investor Perceptions Research with EU business stakeholders that was released at the end of last year.The research showed that the perception and reputation of South Africa fell amongst EU nations in recent years. However, large numbers of diverse investors from the European Union are active in the South African market.EU nations represent an important trading partner and source of foreign direct investment for South Africa. The EU has historically been South Africa’s main trading partner and the biggest source of foreign direct investment (FDI). Firms from EU Member States represent over 75% of the nation’s total FDI stock.Linda Sangaret, Chief Marketing Officer at Brand South Africa said: “We listened to their concerns and challenges and affirmed that the EU remains an important trading partner to South Africa.What was encouraging and positive was that they expressed their desire for further collaboration and deepening of partnerships to promote South Africa in their country markets.”Donnee Kruger, member of the Board of Trustees of the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa said: “The EU investor community in South Africa represents 2,000 companies with over 850,000 employees currently.Profits of these companies increased 5% year-on-year within the last year, so it shows that these companies are an active and important part of the South African business landscape.”Kruger also presented at the consultation a Business Climate Survey which included findings from research conducted  by the EU Chamber of Commerce & Industry in South Africa.The report indicated that 68% of European investors stated that they use South Africa as a base for their operations and trade relations in Africa.In the  context of shifting and uncertain geopolitical and global economic dynamics, Brand South Africa is hosting consultation sessions with its global trade partners in South Africa to strengthen ties that promote South Africa’s investor attractiveness and enhance its position as an investment destination of choice on the African continent. Inputs gathered from stakeholders will be utilised in planning for the Investment Summit announced by President Ramaphosa during the State Of The Nation Address 2018. Brand South Africa looks forward to gathering input from current investors to assess the competitive/comparative advantages the market offers to multinationals, as well as to gather insight into perceived and real challenges to doing business in South Africa.Follow the conversation at @Brand_SA  #CompetitiveSAWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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