DENVER — As his team catches fire and pitching staffs around the league continue to melt down, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi finds himself in an intriguing position.It might be too soon to know whether the Giants have a realistic chance to compete for a Wildcard berth over the next two-plus months, but it’s clear the team has assets that contending clubs find quite desirable.With the July 31 trade deadline approaching, the Milwaukee Brewers should be among the teams …
Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and President Jacob Zuma have been in talks to expand bilateral trade and investment partnerships between the two countries. (Image: GCIS) Tata Motors opened its new assembly in South Africa at Rosslyn, north of Pretoria, in the Gauteng province of South Africa last year. (Image: goaonwheels.com) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zanele Mngadi The Presidency +27 12 300 5431 RELATED ARTICLES • India invests in Africa development • Zuma: shared prosperity for all • India and SA: 150 years of history • Africa is open for business Wilma den HartighSouth Africa and India are ready to take their bilateral trade and investment partnership to a new level. During the Johannesburg leg of the South Africa-India Business Forum, prominent Indian companies already doing business on the continent called on more businesses to bring their investment to Africa.The Business Forum forms part of Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil’s state visit to South Africa to discuss bilateral relations.Positive business experience in AfricaAddressing the two countries’ business communities, Raman Dhawan, MD of Tata Africa Holdings spoke about the company’s experience of doing business in South Africa.Tata is India’s largest automobile company and according to Nomaxabiso Majokweni, CEO of Business Unity South Africa, is one of about 100 Indian companies already investing in South Africa.The company has a strong presence in the African business community, being the single largest Indian investor in South Africa and Africa. It was also one of the first foreign companies to enter Africa and according to Dhawan, has plans to expand its business even further on the continent.“My message is loud and clear. You need to bring your money and invest in Africa,” Dhawan said. “The real fact is that you can’t ignore Africa.”He said that the ease of doing business in Africa is attractive to potential investors.The credibility of South Africa being ranked as one of the top emerging economies in terms of its ease of doing business has a significant impact on its competitiveness as a country.“I have huge confidence in Africa,” he said.Dr Vidya Soni, leader of the Indian business delegation and chairman of the Overseas Infrastructure Alliance, a project development and management company, echoed Dhawan’s sentiments.Soni said there are numerous factors that would encourage Indians to invest in South Africa. The country is one of the biggest economies in Africa and is rated as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank.According to Soni, promising areas for investment and joint ventures include mining; power generation and distribution; transportation; agriculture; IT education and services; ports and railways; telecommunications; pharmaceuticals and education.He singled out railway development as an important area for collaboration as this is vital for regional interconnectivity.“In India, on a daily basis, two million people use railways. India can help South Africa to establish a larger railway footprint,” he said.Spotlight on service sectorsIan Ross, chief underwriting officer and director of international operations for Hollard Life Insurance, said that major potential exists in the financial services sectors, particularly as trade and investment between the two Brics partners expands.“Financial services is a forgotten sector, yet every aspect of trade between the two countries is underpinned by financial services,” Ross said. “You can’t do business without it. Every business that is opened has to be insured.”He pointed out that risk is a major consideration for any investor and this is why there is so much opportunity for risk-related financial services.“Risk-related financial services offers an opportunity to broaden the depth of interaction between the two countries,” he said. “It is a multi-billion dollar business and South Africa has a lot to offer in terms of this sector.”Upping trade targetsIn her address at the forum, President Patil said that South Africa is one of India’s most important trading partners.“In the future I believe our countries will have deep economic engagement. We view South Africa as a gateway to the Southern African region,” Patil said. “Our confidence in the South African economy is reflected in that several Indian banks operate in South Africa.”She said in her talks with President Jacob Zuma, they agreed to expand co-operation in the fields of power including renewable energy; health; information technology; science and technology; tourism; hospitality; infrastructure development, and culture.Trade between the two countries is flourishing and the trading partners have announced further increases to the agreed trade targets.Zuma told the business forum that South Africa and India are set to reach the targeted R116-billion (US$15-billion) in trade, ahead of their 2014 deadline.The target was set by the two governments during Zuma’s state visit to India in 2010. Zuma said that, going by the latest trade figures – close to R54-billion ($7-billion) by the end of 2011 – this could be reached earlier than anticipated.Patil said she is confident that the revised target can be achieved.“A growth rate of over 43% in bilateral trade between South Africa and India registered in the year 2010-11 is impressive by any standard, but especially so in today’s global economic scenario,” she said.South Africa is open for businessZuma said that the African continent is the new frontier of economic growth and development.“We stand ready to provide whatever support is needed to make doing business easy in the respective countries.”
The 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code is soon to be upon you.Modern building codes are most often adopted by local government legislative bodies and as such vary from place to place. The IECC is in use or adopted in 47 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, New York City, and Puerto Rico.By way of background, the International Building Code, as published by the International Code Council, establishes “the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare …” The ICC also developed the IRC (International Residential Code) and the IECC, which encourages energy conservation through efficiency in design, mechanical systems, and lighting systems.An energy conservation code is a major expansion from the life safety mission of building codes. Many suggest that the IECC has had much more impact on high-performance building than has LEED. The 2012 version has been slow to catch onThe IECC 2009 is widely adopted across this country because a commitment to adopt it was a precondition to states receiving stimulus funds from the federal government under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. RELATED ARTICLES Stuart Kaplow, an environmental attorney, is legal counsel and past chair of the U.S. Green Building Council Maryland. There is an IECC 2012, but its adoption has been slow because its mandates should result in energy use that is about 30 percent lower than the 2009 code, which is a significant reduction. More than half of the country is currently under the 2009 IECC.Now the IECC 2015, with 77 changes from the 2012 version, has been published and is ready to be adopted. It is published in a single volume with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 (Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings).On January 1, 2015, the state of Maryland became the first state to adopt the 2015 IECC, with local government adoption and enforcement required throughout the state by July 1, 2015.In terms of overall energy impact, the 2015 IECC is only negligibly different than the 2012 version. Its mandates should result in energy use reductions of slightly more than 1% for commercial buildings with respect to the 2012 IECC.Many people argue that the time, inconvenience, and expense of implementing a new code with only a slightly more than 1% better energy impact is unwise.A U.S. Department of Energy technical analysis of the 2015 version determined that only about six of the 77 code changes actually increase energy savings. The vast majority — that is, over 60 of the changes — require new materials and methods but are energy-neutral, and three arguably have a detrimental effect on energy savings. Modest efficiency increases for residencesBut because the DOE has determined that the revised code improves energy efficiency in residential buildings, even ever so modestly, states are statutorily required to certify that they have reviewed their residential building code regarding efficiency, and have made a determination as to whether it is appropriate for the state to revise its code to meet or exceed the provisions of the successor code. This statutory requirement applies only to residential codes.There is no doubt that, in large measure because of the adoption of more stringent energy codes, energy efficiency has increased significantly. With a goal of reducing energy use, energy codes are of great import to green building. However, critics have effectively questioned the efficacy of using a mandatory code — one that is little known and rarely debated, and one that burdens real estate interests — to address a single societal issue (without balancing matters of resilience, public safety, etc.), pointing out that this all looks a lot like establishing a national energy standard for every building.Whatever your perspective on legislatively mandated requirements for continued reductions in building energy use, be aware that the 2015 version of the IECC, including the required changes in building systems and products and the associated increases in first costs, may soon be upon you. The 2015 IECC Recognizes Home Energy RatingsAn Overview of the 2012 Energy Code New Air Sealing Requirements in the 2009 IRCThe 2012 Code Encourages Risky Wall StrategiesICC Approves Changes to Energy CodeAre Energy Codes Working?
By Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFTDepartment of Defense (2013). Clearinghouse for military family readiness. Pennstate. Retrieved from http://www.militaryfamilies.psu.edu/Looking for helpful gems to put in your resource toolbox? Today we’re featuring the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness (Clearninghouse) website. This is an organization whose mission is to provide professionals serving military families with the tools and resources necessary to promote strength and well-being in military families. Clearinghouse has created an interactive database where professionals working with the military can search for effective programs targeting families, children, couples, and parents that have been evaluated for evidence-based outcomes meeting the needs of military families. Clearinghouse aims to highlight these programs and practices to assist professionals and families with:“make[ing] informed judgments about which programs are both right for your situation and worth the investment.” This site outlines information on both military and civilian programs targeting some of the following topics:Department of Defense (2013). Clearinghouse for military family readiness. Pennstate. Retrieved from http://www.militaryfamilies.psu.edu/programs/find-programs?show=allIn addition to information about programs and practices that may be of use for military families, the site also connects to webinars, videos, social media networks and virtual learning opportunities. This post was written by Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFT, Social Media Specialist. She is a member of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.