Star-struck partners reach for the heavens

Star-struck partners reach for the heavens

16 August 2013

By Todd Balazovic (China Daily)

Ivor Ichikowitz, CEO of Paramount Group, is trying to forge business ties with China's aerospace and defense industries.

An entrepreneur says south African high-tech companies can play a vital role in china's space program.

Ivor Ichikowitz hopes he can take China's booming space program, and mankind, one step closer to another planet.

The CEO and founder of Paramount Group, South Africa's largest privately-owned aerospace and defense company, says China's growing space program could provide ample opportunities for South African high-tech companies.

If all goes well for the technology magnate, the growing country's technological innovations could one day help put Chinese astronauts on Mars.

"They are putting a huge amount of money into the aerospace environment and we have made it clear we're ready to share our knowledge," Ichikowitz says.

Though Paramount is best known for more earthly creations - the company's Marauder vehicle reached celebrity status when it was featured on the popular TV show Top Gear - it is the huge efforts being put into China's space program that has many tech companies bursting with enthusiasm.

"There are some very exciting projects that are going on in China right now," he says.

While China's Mars missions may be more than a decade away, the 47-year-old South African believes now is the time for China to establish partnerships with African countries to promote high-tech exchanges and create industrial projects.

Piloting efforts by South Africa's high-tech industry to forge business links with China's successful aerospace and defense industries, Paramount is now in talks with large Chinese companies, Ichikowitz says.


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