SA’s banking system, diverse manufacturing base and wealth of natural resources has made it one of the best emerging market investment destinations in Africa.
Situated at the foot of the continent, South Africa is uniquely positioned to allow investors to move into Africa and widen their potential market reach to approximately a billion people.
So says Brand South Africa, the country’s official marketing arm.
It says a host of government investment incentives, trade rules and industrial financing interventions are aimed at encouraging commercial activity. Programs like InvestSA has assisted investors to expedite the administration of their investments by allowing them to coordinate and facilitate with the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing, through a one-stop shop approach.
Brand South Africa says the evidence of South Africa being an investment hub is plentiful. According to the IMF in 2016, the country ranked first for a diversified economy in Africa. It was also named the best manufacturing destination and the most industrialised country in Africa. It is the regional manufacturing hub, with favourable market access and is an export gateway to Africa. The Tripartite Free Trade Area offers a regional market of 26 countries with a population of 625 million and combined GDP of USD 1.6 trillion. Favourable trade agreements exist with several countries, from Swaziland to Switzerland, and Norway, Turkey and Russia.
According to the WEF Global Competitiveness Report, South Africa has an advanced financial services sector and banking sector. Its mature, accessible legal system provides certainty and respect for the rule of law. In the 2016 Africa Attractiveness survey from Ernst and Young, South Africa ranked first as an investment location of choice for multi-nationals. Globally, it’s appeal puts it at 27 for its domestic market size (WB 2016/17 Global Competitiveness Report).
Infrastructure is a vital component of investment attractiveness and on this front, South Africa has world-class infrastructure with advanced transport features. It has the largest air, rail and port networks on the continent, including ship to shore cranes and other support handling equipment. In 2017, the World Bank ranked it No. 1 in Africa, under the group’s Logistics Performance Index.
South Africa is the designated rail manufacturing hub to the African Union. The country is a key player in the global automotive production network and hosts several automotive brands. Says Brand South Africa: “The industry’s emergence on the world stage has been driven by the significant investments for expansion by BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and more recently, Beijing Automotive International Corporation. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) such as BMW and Mercedes have won global production and quality awards for their assembly plants in South Africa.”
South Africa also ranks first in the Global Innovation Index 2016, for most technologically advanced country in Africa.
From it’s advanced retail sector to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and it’s abundance in precious metals, South Africa has shown significant strides in making itself a world-class destination. Brand South Africa says SA’s diverse culture, cuisine and sporting facilities makes it a year-round destination.
“A population with diverse skill sets and a large pool of emerging talented and trainable labour makes South Africa the perfect investment destination.
To read more about South Africa’s accolades and awards, please click here.
LEX Africa South African member is Werksmans Attorneys