Top 10 countries doing business in South Africa

New tourism and migration data shows the number of residents from foreign countries coming to South Africa to conduct business.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2015-6 showed that South Africa improved its ranking by seven places to be placed 49th out of 140 economies worldwide.

Using data collected by the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) immigration officers, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) noted that 3,399,693 travellers (arrivals, departures and  transits) passed through South African ports of entry in July 2015.

These travellers were made up of  970,834 South African residents and 2,428,859 foreign travellers.

Visitors were further grouped as same-day visitors and overnight visitors – or tourists – which accounted for a total of 732,891 people.

Majority (94.7%) of those tourists  – 694,066 – were in South Africa for holidays compared to 25,874 (3.5%) and 12,951 (1.8%) who were in South Africa for business and for study  purposes respectively.

Tourists top 10 countries

Tourists top 10 countries SADCThe breakdown of the tourists by region is as follows: 162,733 from overseas; 555,589 from the SADC countries; 13,550 from ‘other’ African countries.

BusinessTech takes a look at the 25,874 business people who entered the country, to assess which countries they are coming from.

# Country No. of business travellers
1 Mozambique 9 513
2 Lesotho 2 690
3 Zimbabwe 2 277
4 Namibia 2 246
5 United Kingdom 1 165
6 Zambia 1 108
7 USA 688
8 India 551
9 Germany 447
10 Botswana 429
11 Swaziland 382
12 China 368
13 France 328
14 Malawi 258
15 Italy 242
16 Kenya 198
17 The Netherlands 181
18 Australia 175
19 Nigeria 152
20 Spain 143

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of business visitors came from neighbouring African countries, specifically those SADC (Southern African Development Community) members namely: Angola, Botswana, Congo (DR), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

These 14 countries accounted for 19,255 of the business tourists, led by Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

A total of 5,844 business tourists were classed as ‘overseas’ visitors, with Europe accounting for 3,264. This included 1,165 from the UK, 447 from Germany, and 328 from France.

Only 688 business tourists from the US landed in the country in July, however, this was more than leading Asian countries: India (551), and China (368).

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Top 10 countries doing business in South Africa