South Africa’s emerging market economy is increasingly being eyed by foreign investors and multinational businesses wishing to expand into the greater African market, bolstering local economies and boosting job creation.
The announcement by US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores in late 2010 of their intention to buy a controlling stake in South Africa’s Massmart Holdings for a proposed $2.4bn further highlights the desire by powerful global organisations to invest in the country through local business.
As Africa’s biggest economy, with a developed business and physical infrastructure, South Africa is a highly attractive prospect on a world scale and is viewed as a potential gateway to the economies of the 14 countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The shift towards investment in South Africa
South Africa, and indeed the entire African continent, is now firmly under the gaze of powerful companies from the US, China, India and other leading economies as markets in developed nations remain weakened following the financial collapse in 2008.
The prospect of growing business in South Africa is made all the more attractive due to an emerging and largely underserved consumer base across many sectors within the growing economy.
Figures from the start of 2011 show the South African economy grew 2.8% last year, taking us out of recession. The economic outlook was also revised upward from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ by the ratings agency Fitch in January 2011.
Building on local jobs
As global organisations choose to gain valuable footholds in South Africa, increased investment in local business is leading to greater levels of job creation across many sectors including commodities, food and retail.
Elsewhere, there are moves to develop South Africa as an e-commerce hub for the southern hemisphere attracting foreign companies and developing jobs for thousands of sales, retail and technology professionals.
South Africa’s world-class physical infrastructure, which was boosted greatly in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is further enhanced by continuing external investment and is now an established and growing source of employment for many thousands of construction and engineering professionals.
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