South Africa offers significant and serious long-term growth and development potential for foreign direct investment, despite the challenges that confront the country at present.
Speaking at the launch of consulting firm Oxford Business Group’s (OBG’s) ‘The Report: South Africa 2012’, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said that although South Africa had its own internal challenges, a number of these were caused by the uncertainty in the global economy.
“However, the report articulates the clear message that South Africa is open for business,” he said.
The publication, which was launched in Johannesburg, on Friday, provides wide-ranging coverage of the government’s efforts to boost growth across the industrial sector, particularly in manufacturing. It also considers the initiatives being put in place to improve energy infrastructure and secure steady power supplies as the country looks to tackle the challenge of rising demand.
The report also highlights the mining sector as the biggest growth market, documenting the potential for expansion in new markets, particularly China, while exploring growth segments such as iron-ore.
With job creation high on government’s agenda, the report charts the strategies aimed at increasing industrial output. It also analyses the automotive and steel sectors, which it says are well positioned to spearhead further economic growth and attract investment.
Meanwhile, the publication states that the country’s ambitious transport projects, lead by rail and port developments, will further enhance the infrastructure put in place for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It looks at the country’s plans to extend the reach of its tourism industry on the back of the football tournament, by attracting more visitors from Africa.
Brand South Africa’s (BSA’s) Ignatius Sathekge, who spoke on behalf of BSA CEO Miller Matola, said that there were significant opportunities for intra-African trade. “To harness these opportunities, governments and business should work together to strengthen the trade corridors between South Africa and its neighbours.”
He added that South Africa had to fight for its share of international attention. “The global competitiveness of the country is the responsibility of each South African.”
The OBG spent the past nine months in South Africa to better understand the country's opportunities and challenges. The report contains an interview with President Jacob Zuma, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It provides a wide range of contributions from political, economic and business representatives, including Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus, and the Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.