Business Ireland Cape Town business breakfast October 2021

Business Ireland Cape Town (BICT) recently hosted a business breakfast on Tuesday 19 October 2021 on the Deck, within the beautiful surrounds of the President Hotel, buzzing with a fresh influx of guests due to South Africa once again being fully open to tourists.  The theme of the meeting was a general discussion on opportunities and challenges within the region.  It was a small group conducive to flowing conversation, with one long table dipped in the light of another stunning Cape Town summer day.  BICT was represented by Chairman Frank Gormley, Honorary Secretary Claire O’Gorman and board member Andrew Pigott.  Others within the intimate group included Chefs Warehouse Proprietor Liam Tomlin, David Wibberley from Spider Pig Wines, wine entrepreneur Andrew Douglas, Yaw Peprah and Joshua Palm from Wesgro, Jeremy Clayton Chair of FEDHASA representing Tourism, Chris Derksen Director of 12 Cape from the property world and tech expert Ridwaan Olivier from Financial Risk Associates.

BICT Chairman Frank Gormley kicked off the discussion on a positive note briefing those present on new Irish companies coming in the South African region, from the tech, education and recruitment fields.  South Africa being a great hub for both servicing the South African market and then spreading north should opportunities arise.  The conversation evolved to prospects within the wine sector, both within South Africa and beyond. In particular the absence of SA wine in the Irish market was highlighted. With the BICT wine event coming up it was a great fact finding mission with those in the know in the industry.  The depth and quality of the South African producers being well known locally but those wonderful flavours, the envy of many international producers, not being as well represented in the Northern Hemisphere as the South American and Oceanic countries.  Those present hope to change that.

Yaw and Joshua expressed strong support for businesses from the Emerald Isle looking to operate in the region.  Mr Tomlin spoke of his exciting expansion within South Africa and Europe and how he set that up.  Mr Wibberley talked of his passion for South African produced wine and his hopes to showcase it to the world through his exciting brand.

All present left at 9am energized from an exciting discussion with plenty of takeaways and food for thought.  Special thanks and mention must be made to the continuing support of the President Hotel to BICT and to resident Chef Jacques who put on an incredible spread.  One of the guests noted that to finish at 9am still gave plenty of time to fit in a full day of work! 

Next stop, November Wine Event. 

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