South Africa is becoming more attractive to foreign investors in an increasingly globalized world, but a lot need to be done to increase competitiveness in the country that was over the weekend dislodged as the leading economic power in Africa by Nigeria, a study by Brand South Africa showed.
The annual perceptions survey, which was conducted among investors in 16 developing and emerging economies, shows that the country is improving its image amongst foreign investors in world “with shrinking borders driving the 24/7 culture enabled by, amongst others, the internet and 24 hour-news programs”.
The 2013 study compares South Africa to 11 other emerging markets, including fellow BRICS nations.
“It is crucial for South Africa to understand the way in which we are perceived in both our traditional markets and trading partners, as well as in the markets that are bound to continue driving global growth in coming decades,” BusinessTech quoted Brand South Africa Head of Research, Dr Petrus de Kock saying.
According to the survey’s findings, South Africa fares favourably amongst emerging markets in investor perceptions, but is hampered by issues such as crime, corruption and security issues.
Three out of 10 investors said that they were currently investing, or doing business with South Africa, with 61 percent noting familiarity with the country and 82 percent having “recently” heard of it in some way.
The research asked investors to indicate which three countries are the best to do business in or with – and South Africa ranked 4th in the category, with the top three being China, India, and Brazil.
Respondents indicated that the most attractive features for doing business in South Africa include infrastructure; a growing economy; and the low cost of doing business in the country.
“This will go a long way towards building perceptions of South Africa as a competitive and reputable investment destination,” Brand SA CEO, Miller Matola said. “While South Africa has made significant gains in the past 20 years, much more can be done.”