The annual perceptions survey conducted by Brand South Africa shows that the country is improving its image amongst foreign investors, but a lot more can still be done.
The 2013 study, which was conducted among investors in 16 developing and emerging economies, compares South Africa to 11 other emerging markets, including fellow BRICS nations.
Brand SA pointed out that the world is becoming and increasingly globalised place, “with shrinking borders driving the 24/7 culture enabled by, amongst others, the internet and 24 hour-news programmes”.
“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,” said Brand South Africa Head of Research, Dr Petrus de Kock.
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.
The out of 10 (32%) investors indicated that they are currently investing, or doing business with South Africa, with 61% noting familiarity with the country and 82% 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.
According the respondents, the economic areas for which South Africa is most well-known are:
- Mining & Quarrying – 64%
- Agriculture – 46%
- Hospitality, hotels, restaurants & tourism – 44%
- Manufacturing – 36%
- Construction – 29%
- Wholesale & retail – 28%
- Transport – 23%
- Electricity, gas & water supply – 20%
- Finance, insurance & real estate – 17%
- Post & telecommunications – 14%
Brand SA CEO, Miller Matola stressed that all stakeholders in South Africa need to work together for continued competitiveness and economic and social growth.
“This will go a long way towards building perceptions of South Africa as a competitive and reputable investment destination,” Brand SA said.
“While South Africa has made significant gains in the past 20 years, much more can be done.”