The Top 21 Countries
The Top 21 Countries ranked by international companies as top prospective investment destinations for 2012 to 2014, according to the 2012 World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
The full list (with previous ranking in brackets and with some ranking numbers shared) is:
The Top 21 countries ranked by international companies as top prospective investment destinations for 2012 to 2014, according to the 2012 World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
Unctad’s World Investment Prospects Survey 2012-14, based on responses from executives of the biggest transnational corporations worldwide, forms part of the World Investment Report released in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
The survey indicates that developing economies will continue to enjoy strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the medium term as they become increasingly important to international companies worldwide.
Among the top five prospective investment destinations in the survey, the US (in 2nd place) stands out as the only developed economy.
Of the other four, three – China (1st), India (3rd) and Brazil (5th) – are members of the BRICS grouping of influential emerging economies. Russia, also a BRICS member, is ranked joint 8th with Germany, while South Africa, which joined BRICS in 2011, is ranked 14th together with the Netherlands and Poland.
What is BRICS? BRICS is the title of an association of leading emerging economies. BRICS members are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
With the possible exception of Russia, the BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries, distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.
As of 2012, the five BRICS countries represent almost 3 billion people, with a combined nominal GDP f US$13.7 trillion, and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves. Presently, India holds the chair of the BRICS group.
On display at the Circa Gallery in Rosebank is a beautiful display of 100 grinding stones collected from rural Mpumalanga.
CARLO Gamberini, a collector of grinding stones, is showcasing 100 grinding stones from 250 stones he has in his garden. These beautiful stones were all naturally sculpted by women in the process of grinding maize.
Gamberini’s collection, “Between rock: grinding stones from southern Africa,” is on exhibition at the Circa gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa .
The stones have been collected from villages in Mpumalanga, where they are no longer used by the villagers, says Gamberini. He has collected the stones over the past 10 years. “It is not about the stones, it is about meeting people and hearing their stories,” he adds.
And to others, these grinding stones are much more than just Arty Facts ….–
“Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo”
You Strike A Women, You Strike A Rock
These grinding stones, highly coveted by galleries and museums, represent generations of African women’s toil, joys, struggles, strength and courage.
In South Africa, August 1956, the rock (or possibly grinding stone) came to symbolise female strength, power and courage when over 20,000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings, Pretoria, to hand over a petition against the Pass Laws and Urban Areas Act.
Many of the women sold their personal items, travelling for days with children on their backs, to participate in this march.
The 20,000+ women of all races, led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to deliver a petition to the Prime Minister, JG Strijdom, protesting against apartheid pass laws that would not allow black people to live, or move freely, outside of township areas without carrying a pass or booklet.
Over 100 000 signed petitions were delivered to the Prime Minister’s office door, protesting the Pass Laws and the idea that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
This sent a loud message to the public that the women of South Africa would not be intimidated and silenced by unjust laws, and that their place was everywhere – and wherever they decided it to be.
The women also sang a protest song composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.”
Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.”
Since that day, the phrase: “you strike a woman, you strike a rock” has come to represent the courage and strength of the women of South Africa.
Women, rocks, stones and seeds
In Dr Sibusiso Hyacinth’s, “Is a Woman a Rock or a Female a Grinding Stone?” Some Linguistic Reflections on the Translation of the Motto, we find the alternative and interesting translation – “You strike the female, you strike the grinding stone.”
For thousands of years the grinding stone, as essential to human progress as the wheel, has been woman’s main tool for converting inedible roots, leaves, barks and seeds into rich, digestible foods for her family and community.
Excerpt from my e-book The 3 Core WWW.COMs of Civilisation, by Gaye Crispin, Copyright 2008: “Mankind’s and womankind’s early entrepreneurial endeavours evolved because women created excess, began bartering, established rules for intra-community trade (co-ops), and ultimately developed commercial market places. Women have always punched well above their weight in the market place and the psychology behind it. Women don’t just drive markets, they are naturally masters of the core 3 WWW.COMs of civilisation and trade: 1) Community 2) Communication 3) Commerce. Is it any surprise the marketplace is ultimately a female domain? ”
The United Nations seems to understand this too, with women’s equality and freedom being key to achieving their highly ambitious goal to end world poverty by 2015. The UN Millenium Project claims: “every single goal is directly related to women’s rights, and societies where women are NOT afforded equal rights as men can NEVER achieve development in a sustainable manner.”
And even though the global community is NOT on track to achieve the “end of world poverty” goal by 2015, with the growing number of men and women united in a wide range of actions committed to ending gender inequality and world poverty, it’s only a matter of time before we can say of world poverty and gender inequality:
You struck the women,
you struck a rock,
and you were crushed!
Join the #WDSAfrica2012 Tweet-up on Thurs, 9th August
August 9th is an annual public holiday in South Africa commemorating the 1956 march petitioning against legislation requiring African persons to carry the “pass.” As a gesture of solidarity with our African sisters, there’ll be a Women’s Day Tweet-up and Meet-up in Sydney on the day.
If you’re interested in supporting the #WDSAfrica2012 tweet-up online, joining us in Sydney for morning tea, or hosting your own morning tea, please let me know.
Let’s celebrate gender equality together by supporting Women’s Day on Aug 9.