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Ecco Chamber

Fortnightly Italian news made in South Africa

 I edition December 2023

Buon Natale!

Chamber's Note


As we astonishingly reach the end of another year, the joyous season reserved for our nearest and dearest, we would like to take a moment to reflect on a year well used. Italcham can confidently assert that 2023 was one in which we made major strides. This is on the basis of the impact we know we have made on the back of significant change in the last four years.

We have become more strategic and more structured, improved our reporting and governance, as well as our communications to members and stakeholders. We have formed new bonds with Italian and local South African entities, and revived old ones that had fallen dormant during Covid.

On a day-to-day basis, one can miss the small successes achieved. But looking back over the last year, we can appreciate the work we have put in, that will positively position us all for the future and allow us to have a comfortable break this December.


Three main initiatives are worth highlighting:

1. The Imbokodo Trust is a BEE trust for the skills development of young black women. It is designed to help Italian companies or anyone else wanting to cut through the choppy waters of BEE compliance.

2. Taking advantage of the remote work culture established under the pandemic, our Cape Town office has not only given us a presence in a second city but has put a true stamp on Italcham being countrywide and not just a Gauteng-based organisation.

3. ItalChannel is our digital marketing collaboration with Stone in the Shoe. A digital solution to efficiently creating demand for companies at a reasonable price, it completes, full circle, the Chamber’s market entry service offering.


National and international challenges will continue to be present for Italian and European business interests in South Africa. We are of course aware that 2024 will present its difficulties, but we are confident that with the hard work underway, we are moving towards a new destination for the Chamber and the broader Italian-South African business community.


We would like to sincerely thank all our members for their support throughout the year and we look forward to a 2024 decorated with

nice surprises.


Until then, we wish you all a Christmas full of panettone, torrone e regali.

Buon Natale!


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We are delighted to share the highlights of our Aperilink event held last night at Ciccio's restaurant in Melrose Arch. Hosted by the gracious team at Ciccio's, the evening served as a token of appreciation to our valued members and business network who continually support the Chamber

In attendance were distinguished guests, including the Consul General of Italy in Johannesburg, Emanuela Curnis, and the new Director of the Italian Trade Agency, Gianluca Atena. Over 40 member companies were represented, as well as a number of new businesses connected to Italy that have recently become part of our extended network and will hopefully become valued members of our Chamber. 

In her address to the attendees, Secretary General Pamina Bohrer highlighted the significant accomplishments of the past year. Notably, our events have seen a remarkable turnout, with over 1500 people participating in both generic and social gatherings, as well as sector-specific events focusing on areas such as water/infrastructure, mining, textiles, and discussions around critical topics like youth unemployment, corruption/governance, and artificial intelligence.

One of the crowning achievements was the successful execution of the Week of Italian Cuisine, held throughout November in 19 restaurants across South Africa. This week-long celebration showcased authentic Italian regional recipes, bringing a taste of Italy to diverse communities.
ItalCham also proudly organized two trade delegations to prominent events, including Farete Bologna and Ecomondo trade fairs in Italy. These initiatives played a vital role in connecting sellers and buyers, fostering valuable business relationships between companies.

Additionally, our organization provided tailored support to a dozen companies through customized market research and partner searches, facilitating their entry and growth in the South African market.
Within the broader context of the EU Chamber, ItalCham has been actively engaging with the government to address challenges in the visa process, advocating for improvements in efficiency and speed, which remains a crucial concern for our members.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each member for their unwavering support, contributing to the success and impact of the Chamber’s initiatives. Together, we look forward to another year of fostering collaboration, facilitating trade, and making meaningful strides in the Italian-South African business landscape.

See you all at the Back to Work Aperilink in January!


Recap of
European Chambers' 2nd

Golf Day Cape Town


Thanks to the efforts of ItalCham, in collaboration with the Belgian Chamber of Commerce South Africa, Business Ireland South Africa, and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce South Africa, the second edition of the European Chambers' Golf Day took place at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Cape Town on December 5th, 2023. 

The fun-filled day offered participants an exclusive platform to network with stakeholders from various chambers, business organizations, investment associations, local and government representatives.


The success of this event was made possible through the exceptional contributions of our dedicated members, sponsors, and the collaborative efforts of European chambers in South Africa. Special thanks go to our primary sponsors TAAG, President Hotel, Nedbank, Savino Del Bene, and Student@Home. We also express our gratitude to our wine sponsors Morgenster, Vinotria, Spider Pig Winery, and FWG.


ItalCham brings Boutique Event Management to the Design Sector

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On the 28th of November, Italcham assisted its long-term member Casarredo with organising a showcase of Italian company Fiam at the famous Casarredo showroom in Johannesburg.

As a long-time partner of the brand, Casarredo organised a spectacular event for Fiam Italia to celebrate their 50th anniversary. This momentous occasion highlighted the success behind the brand for its awarded designs & furniture.

At the event, the famous glass Ghost Chair & Onda Pouf were on display for all guests to see & try which is a truly special moment for experts in the design & architectural industries.

All of Casarredo's guests & experts in the industry were hosted, giving special thanks to Fiam for their long-standing relationship in the Italian furniture & design world.

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Ex-post evaluation of the
EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

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Within the framework of the ex post evaluation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and six Parties from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a full-day workshop was held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 08 November 2023.

The objective of this event was to discuss the preliminary findings of the ongoing evaluation of the implementation of the EU-SADC EPA since its entry into force in 2016 (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini and South Africa) and 2018 (Mozambique), focussing on the implementation and effects in Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa.

The workshop was attended by key stakeholders from government institutions, the private sector, and other non-state actors from the three countries. In total, 52 persons from 37 organisations participated in the workshop. 

Pamina Bohrer of the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Africa started by pointing out the importance of EU companies for South Africa. The EU has over 1,000 companies operating directly in RSA and it is directly involved in the creation of over 350,000 direct jobs. The EU is also the largest FDI investor in RSA, accounting for half of the FDI, compared to less than 10% from China and the United States combined. She then summarised a number of benefits and shortcomings of the EPA.

If you would like to learn more about the challenges, the recommendations and outcomes of the evaluation of the EPA,

please click here:

KEY 2024
The Energy Transition Expo
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• Check in: Tuesday 27th Feb 2024

   Check out: Friday 1 March 2024

• transfer from Bologna airport to the hotel and vice versa;

• daily transfer from the hotel to the expo and vice versa;

• free admission ticket to the expo;

• buffet lunch at the expo.


Please note: airplane ticket is not covered and must be paid by the applicant.

Deadline for application is 20 December 2023

KEY - The Energy Transition Expo, Europe’s leading show dedicated to technlogies, services, integrated solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energies in Italy and the Mediterranean basin, puts the spotlight on the acceleration of energy and climate policies and the opportunities opening up in the market. 

It is an opportunity to present technological innovations and financial challenges in a setting that will combine an ever larger area for exhibitors and a range of events with a growing international presence. 

KEY provides a complete overview of the world of energy transition, showcasing entities, associations, organisations, utilities, companies and start-ups contributing to the energy transition in various fields:










Visitors come to KEY to identify new business partners and suppliers (80%), to find out about innovations, new products and cutting edge technical solutions (85%)*.

Reasons to attend K.EY include:

  • Achieve your economic and growth goals by sourcing from new national and international markets.

  • Become part of an active and relevant community in the energy transition sector, multiplying training and networking opportunities.

  • Find exposure to cutting-edge brands in the energy transition space and ensure your company is exposed to the international context, to new suppliers and other new contacts, presenting innovations and projects to the market..

  • Learning about trends, projects, technologies, news, funding, regulations and best practices to support the energetic transition, while maintaining an international outlook.


5 - 7 March 2024
Cape Town International Convention Centre

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The Africa Energy Indaba 2024 is the definitive energy conference for Africa providing an annual programme that shapes energy policy for the African continent. Delegates drawn from all over the world represent an unparalleled combination of industry experts, CEOs, project developers, financiers, energy users, government officials and manufacturers.

With more than 4000 participants, 37+ African countries represented, 156+ speakers and 200+ exhibitor stands, the Africa Energy Indaba is a unique forum to advance opportunities and projects.

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Reasons to attend the Africa Energy Indaba 2024:

  • Learn from the industry leaders the changing energy landscape in South Africa

  • Meet and connect with sector specialists

  • Learn about the future of energy

  • Do business via business networking with high-level attendees, speakers, sponsors and investors at the event

  • Discover the latest technologies: evolving grid technologies (e.g. micro, mini and off-grid solutions), renewable and cleaner energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles

  • Explore opportunities in Africa.

For more info on this event visit:

To book a stand please contact:
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Job Board

There is one new job vacancy on the SMILE Job Portal:

You will find where to apply on the above link.

View these and other job vacancies on the SMILE website via this link - CLICK HERE

If you are currently hiring, please take a look at SMILE vetted candidates HERE




Alla prossima!

Chamber's Note
Upcoming Events
Africa Energy Indaba
Recap Goodbye 2023 Aperilink
Recap European Golf Day
Job Board
Key 2024
Recap Casarredo
EU-SADC agreement
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