BSA 1812015

Brand SA
JANUARY 18 2015
SA is open for business and
oiling wheels for investors
This is the message Team SA are taking to the WEF in Davos
OUTH Africa is committed to improving its
global competitiveness
and reputation with a
view to delivering on its
growth and developmental imperatives. South Africa
continues to compare well with other emerging markets.
In a bid to drive this point home
with international investors, South
Africa will be represented at this
year’s World Economic Forum in
Davos on January 21-24 by a highlevel and multistakeholder team.
Team South Africa will bring to
the 2 500 participants at the summit
the message that South Africa is
open for business and that it
remains an attractive and reliable
investment destination.
According to the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and
Development Restrictiveness Index,
South Africa ranks among the most
open jurisdictions in the world for
foreign direct Investment.
Openness is reflected in the
growth in foreign direct investment
in South Africa in the 22 years since
1994. South Africa’s foreign direct
investment accounts for 42 percent
of gross domestic product.
Over the past five years, South
Africa accounted for the bulk of
new investment projects in Africa,
with investment arriving from the
US, some EU states and increasingly from China, India and other
Asian countries. The country
attracted about 24 percent of all
foreign direct investment projects
in Africa between 2007 and 2013.
In this light, and notwithstanding the challenging global economic conditions, in August 2013, the
Global Financial Times magazine
voted South Africa the best investment destination in Africa for 2013
and last year.
The 2014 AT Kearney Foreign
Direct Confidence Index ranks
South Africa in 13th position
among 25 leading economies, up
two places since 2013.
South Africa ranks higher than
countries such as Switzerland, Sweden and Netherlands.
Research by Dr Stephen Gelb,
the International Investment Initiative director at the University of
Bern’s World Trade Institute,
shows that more than 130 foreign
firms entered South Africa or
expanded their investments in 2013
– that is, about 2.5 foreign firms a
week announced an investment in
South Africa.
Trade and Investment South
Africa developed R60.5 billion in
potential investment projects for
The draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill has generated some negative comment.
The reality is that this bill will
ensure that all investors – domestic
and foreign – will be treated equally on the basis of the principle of
non-discrimination and substantial
protection of investor rights, based
on the constitution.
The World Bank’s 2015 Ease of
Doing Business report, which
ranks 189 countries, shows South
Africa dropped from 41st to 43rd.
This comes at a time of subdued
GDP outlook. The report attributes
the drop to South Africa’s poor or
limited access to electricity, which
is one of the biggest hurdles to
doing business in the country,
where it takes on average five procedures and 226 days to get connected to the grid.
Despite this, South Africa has
improved in a range of indicators:
starting a business from 64 to 61;
registering property, from 99 to 97;
trading across borders, 106 to 100;
enforcing contracts, 80 to 46; and
payment of taxes, 24 to 19.
South Africa’s fall in the rank-
ings can also be attributed to counterproductive credit policies, namely making access to credit information more difficult. The results of
the 2015 Ease of Doing Business
Report suggest that South Africa
has work to do in creating an
enabling environment to attract
inward flows of investment.
The challenges are, however, not
insurmountable and many are
being addressed.
In line with the National Development Plan, we need collectively
to begin creating the conditions
that improve our competitiveness.
According to the World Bank, “the
20 economies at the top of the ease
of doing business ranking perform
well not only on the Doing Business
indicators, but also in other international data sets capturing dimensions of competitiveness”.
As a developing nation, South
Africa will be confronted continually by considerable socio-economic
challenges that need to be resolved.
However, the development of powerful interventions such as the
National Development Plan and the
New Growth Path provide broad
yet strong blueprints for dealing
with these structural issues.
The focus should remain firmly
on the implementation of such
The government is committed to
creating an enabling environment
that will facilitate investment, job
creation and growth. Appropriately
calibrated and enforced regulations
provide business with certainty
and a stable business environment.
Regulations are also essential to
reduce the illicit trade that is not
only harmful to workers and consumers, but constitutes unfair competition to South African companies that are law-abiding.
We must not lose sight of the
things we are getting right.
The government and society
need to work in genuine partnership to pursue the country’s economic vision with conviction and
vigour. Meanwhile, South Africa
needs to continue to send a message
to the world that it is very much
“open for business”.
Follow Team South Africa at
WEF Davos on @Brand_SA #SAinDavos on January 21-24.
■ Davies is minister of trade and
Embracing change, expanding
investment opportunities
McCannJHB 912681
Sandiso Sibisi
Aslam Levy
Raelene Rorke
Katleho Tsoku
Bokang Seritsane
Bonolo Ramokhele
Developing women key
to creating equal society
SANDISO SIBISI: Founder of Born to
Succeed and consultant at Accenture.
“Through the development of young
women in South Africa, we can increase
employment and contribute to a healthier economy nationally and globally.
“Through forums like the World
Economic Forum, we can draw global
attention to how the underdevelopment of woman can cripple national
and global economic development.
“Platforms such as this are essential
to continued efforts to develop young
women to bridge the economic gap
and create a less gendered international
system, leading to a more equal society.”
Follow Sandiso Sibisi on Twitter:
KATLEHO TSOKU: Entrepreneur and
chief executive of Spark SA.
“South Africans are always focused
on the bread-and-butter issues. If the
price of fuel increases, we become
seriously concerned. What we don’t
realise is that these issues do not occur
in isolation – they are a result of bigger
international forces.
“That is why the WEF is important. It
is a creative force for engaging leaders
in collaborative activities focused on
shaping the global, regional and industry agendas, which in turn affect everyday issues.”
Follow Katleho Tsoku on Twitter:
ASLAM LEVY: Director for online platforms for government communications
and WEF Global Shaper.
“Limited access to information and
communication technology (ICT) and
the cost of internet data transfer are
among the challenges to South Africa’s
competitiveness and a major hindrance
in our development.
“If we wish to challenge the global
order it is imperative that we advance
our broadband ICT infrastructure to
improve access and lower the cost of
these technologies.The digital economy
and the new world order are a WEF
discussion point I will follow closely.”
Follow Aslam Levy on Twitter:
BOKANG SERITSANE: Entrepreneur and
founder of Under 35 Mavericks Youth
Entrepreneurship Consultancy.
“Entrepreneurship is a critical driver
of economic growth, job creation and
the prosperity of nations and all
mankind. One of the key factors in the
creation of a successful business is
mentorship. Because the WEF attracts
top business leaders, it is a vitally important forum to tap into that rich pool of
experience, expertise and advice.
“Before a company becomes a multinational corporation, it starts with an
idea, then it becomes a start-up, later
an SME and finally, with planning and
execution, it conquers the globe.”
Follow Bokang Seritsane on Twitter:
RAELENE RORKE: Founder of SpringAGE
and WEF Global Shaper.
“One of the most powerful aspects
about the WEF platform is that it values
the input of young people, in the context of their communities through the
WEF Global Shapers programme. We are
tackling global and local challenges,
such as youth unemployment, through
projects, innovations and discussions.”
Follow Raelene Rorke on Twitter:
BONOLO RAMOKHELE: Co-founder and
chief executive of the LeoFortis Group.
“The world needs a focus on Africa.
The continent has a wealth of resources
and is to benefit from its youth
dividend.The high-level engagements
at the WEF allow for participants to
reorientate the developmental agenda.
It is a platform for Africans to promote
our innovative industries.”
Follow Bonolo Ramokhele on Twitter:
Forum is a conversation
about improving the world
South Africa is amongst the most open destinations for FDI in the world according to the OECD, the best investment destination
in Africa for 2013 and 2014 according to the Global Financial Times and a competitive destination for doing business
according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. South Africa is a country at work, South Africa is open for business.
ONLY a few days into 2015, an inspired
Team South Africa is earnestly at work
positioning the country as an attractive
and reliable destination of choice that is
open for business.This is the message
we will be taking to the World Economic
Forum’s yearly gathering of thought
leaders in Davos on January 21-24.
We will also be taking this message to
the 2015 Mining Indaba in Cape Town
from February 9. Such platforms are
critical in positioning South Africa and
we must use them efficiently.
You may ask why Davos matters,
especially as it may not necessarily yield
trade agreements or other tangible
outcomes. Davos matters because it
brings together like-minded people who
are interested in challenging norms and
doing things differently to improve the
state of the world. It is not just a gathering of government and business leaders.
You will also find social change activists
who bring a reality to the conversation.
The motto of the World Economic Forum
is:“Committed to improving the state of
Miller Matola
the world.” Team South Africa is pleased
to be part of this critical conversation,
which resonates with our objective of
reforming the sometimes skewed global
governance and economic architecture.
Improving the state of the world will
require co-operation and leadership at
all levels. Follow Team South Africa on
@Brand_SA #SAinDavos.
■ Miller Matola is chief executive of
Brand South Africa.