SA to host Italian intl motor race

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pretoria - South Africa will next year host the international motor race, 1000 Miglia, the first time.

The announcement was made after Italian Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola met with Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies in Pretoria on Monday to discuss various areas of mutual cooperation.

The 1000 Miglia is a competitive race of historical cars and will take place in August. The race, which traditionally takes place in Italy, will run from Cape Town, through Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg.

The race attracts some of the best rally drivers in the world who will bring with them more than 100 crews. Last year's event attracted over 90 000 fans.

Some of the winners of the race have included Piero Longhi, Andrea Dallavilla and Renato Travaglia.

Minister Scajola, who arrived in the country on Sunday, said that he and Minister Davies would have further discussions around the hosting of the event.

During their meeting on Monday, the two ministers further explored ways to stregnthen sectors that have been prioritized by the department within its recent Industrial Policy Framework and Action Plan.

Minister Scajola further said that Italy was interested in the South African project for the realization of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) international telescope and is ready to offer its support and cooperation.

Other discussions included Italy's proposal on Small Enterprise Development, bilateral cooperation efforts among others.

Italy is a highly industrialised economy and is ranked as the world's seventh largest economy. The country has a comparative advantage in number of sectors such as industrial design and innovation, fashion and clothing.

The strength of its economy lies in processing and manufacturing of high quality consumer goods, primarily concentrated in small and medium sized enterprises. The majorities of these enterprises are family-owned and are more concentrated on the domestic market.

Italy's major industries are tourism, precision machinery, pharmaceuticals, food processing, electrical goods, clothing and footwear. It is also the 11th largest destination for South African exports in the world.

South Africa exports about R13 million worth of goods to Italy while it imports a little over R17 billion.