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Riaan de Lange

Riaan de Lange


This economic and trade-focused column is prepared by Riaan de Lange – riaan@tariffandtrade.co.za. The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views

Statistically, nothing is ever quite what it seems

28th April 2017 ‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It is what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’, this according to Mark Twain. Love it or hate it, you simply cannot deny that mathematics (and statistics, for that matter) evokes polarised emotions. Arguably, no subject scars and scares... 

The South African Revolution

21st April 2017 Just over 100 years ago, a definitive event took place in a country with which South Africa has had an indifferent history. Since March 30, you can visit this country without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days. The visa-free travel arrangement is understood to mark the twenty-fifth... 

Will the South African economy catch a crab?

14th April 2017 It is mid-afternoon on Sunday, April 2. I am enjoying glorious weather, reminiscent of South Africa, with soaring temperatures, which is not the usual rainy, gloomy and cold London. I find myself in Putney, where the River Thymes is aligned by an estimated 300 000 people who have made their way... 

When the going gets tough, the tough go skiing

7th April 2017 In a mere ten days, the men of the next generation of two internationally renowned (you can also read infamous) families on both sides of the pond made the same decision when their presence was required at home at two very important events. Both men attained their privilege by birth (well, one of... 

Freely dropping the antiprotectionist pledge

31st March 2017 A favourite adage of mine is: with free advice, you get what you pay for. I heard it early in my working career, when Ken Warren, an elderly but world- and street-wise legal director of the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob), who also headed its Parliamentary team in Cape Town, mentioned... 

Opportunities from the Indian Ocean Rim

24th March 2017 Indian Ocean Rim Association Well, this certainly is a blast from the past. It was a long time ago. I had just joined the then South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) – on March 1, 1995 – and, within a few days, I was jetting off to Mauritius. I thought that I had hit the big time, and yes, the... 

Brexit – let it be

17th March 2017 Having taken evasive action, leaving the tourists on the streets of London by escaping down a small passage way - an alley if you will - our group of seven-odd walkers ended up in front of a vintage store front - 13 Masons Yard, St. James’ to be exact. We are not off the unbeaten track, anything... 

The Oscars gaffe

10th March 2017 To Cue Humor Bedlam from the ‘Near Impossible’ If there is one thing that I remember vividly about my grandmother, taken from us far too soon, was her preference to caveat anything that she, in her words, “did not want to jinx” with the words “touch wood”. After having said these two words, she... 

It’s time up for the WTO and globalisation

3rd March 2017 "Who would've thought, it figures … Well, isn't this nice. And isn't it ironic, don't you think” – to borrow (okay, this may be misappropriate) a few verses from Alanis Morissette’s third song, Ironic, which features on her iconic Jagged Little Pill album, released about 21 years ago. Yes, that... 

Gibraltar – a major Brexit casualty?

24th February 2017 On the south-western tip of Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, lies a British overseas territory (formerly known as a colony) that is all of 6.7km2 in area. It even has a straight named after it. The territory is call Gibraltar. If you view it from a... 

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