South Africa wishes to attract investment and to promote the restructuring of its economy in order to improve general living conditions. The country offers a number of interesting investment incentives and support mechanisms.
South Africa is Africa’s largest economy, with substantial links to the rest of the continent and strong economic ties to Europe and the rest of the world. South Africa has a domestic market of 44 million inhabitants, while the SADC region (including South Africa) is home to a population of 190 million. South Africa’s excellent infrastructure and high business standards make it ideally suited as a springboard into sub-saharan Africa and the SADC region (Southern African Development Community, consisting of 15 countries).
Increasingly, the country is also used as a base for exports into the markets of North and South America, Europe and Asia. During March 2003, the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch raised South Africa’s rating for long-term liabilities from BBB- to BBB, acknowledging the country’s sound economic policies, the progress it had made in reducing public debt, and the restructuring restructuring process that has been undertaken.
During 2000, the value of total German assets in SA was approximately Euro 3,0 bn, out of a total of Euro 51.3 bn of foreign investment. Major German investors have set up production facilities in SA, including Daimler-Chrysler, BMW, Volkwagen and many other companies in the automobile industry.
The German-Southern African Chamber of Commerce and Industry has approximately 700 member firms, of which about 500 have a permanent presence in South Africa. There is an investment protection agreement in force between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of South Africa, as well as an agreement ensuring that double taxation is avoided.
Good reasons to invest in South Africa
South Africa has enormous potential as an investment destination. It is one of the most sophisticated and promising emerging markets in the world with a unique combination of a highly developed economic infrastructure and a vibrant, emerging market economy. South Africa offers, among others:
- Sound macro-economic policy
- Advanced telecommunications, transport and energy provision infrastructure
- Electric power at one of the cheapest rates in the world
- 100% foreign ownership permitted
- A large regional market with strong growth prospects
- Modern transport and communications
- Access to African and Indian Ocean markets
- Preferential access to the US and EU markets
- Rich natural resources
- A highly developed agricultural sector
- Modern banking and financial services
- Liberal repatriation of profits
- Privatisation of government enterprises