A trip to South Africa can be life-changing. Every year, millions of people visit the vibrant country to enjoy its unique natural beauty and experience its rich cultural diversity. South Africa’s reputation as a world-leading tourist destination is firmly established, and the nation is increasingly an exciting proposition for investors from across the globe. In the 21st century, South Africa is firmly open for business.
Today, South Africa accounts for a fifth of all foreign direct investment in the region, and its strategic location, abundance of opportunities and solid infrastructure make it the gateway to the entire continent and its 1.2 billion people. The country ranks high for investor protection and security according to World Bank data, and it boasts a burgeoning reputation for ease of doing business.
Foreign investment in the country is strong, and while economies across the world are still feeling the effects of the global recession, South Africa has become something of a beacon to investors. The country’s ICT and electronics sector for example, has the twin attraction of being both sophisticated and developing. Major players in the technology world, including Microsoft, Intel and Dell operate subsidiaries from the country and South Africa is considered an innovator in the fields of mobile and security software. A tech-savvy population is fuelling a demand for wireless connectivity, providing an opportunity to invest in technology and services that will allow more South Africans to connect and take control of their own prosperity.
The story of the country’s openness and readiness for visitors and investors has seen South Africa earn a place as a finalist in the prestigious City Nation Place Awards, competing in the category of Best Expression of Place Identity Through Design. This recognition of the nation’s maturity and potential is not only deserved, it also serves to highlight South Africa’s meteoric rise on the world stage.
On becoming President in 1994, Nelson Mandela toured the world, spreading his message of a new and open South Africa. Renowned for his role as peacemaker in international disputes, Mandela also worked to boost trade, actively welcoming foreign interest in his country via the twin routes of tourism and investment.
Mandela’s efforts came to fruition with two landmark events in the country’s history, both occurring in 2010. In June and July South Africa played host to the FIFA World Cup, the first time the tournament had been played on African soil. It drew the eyes of the world to South Africa in what became a riotous carnival of football, fun and vuvuzelas. It also provided a huge boost to the economy through the work of the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, an initiative set up ahead of the World Cup to encourage and support small and medium size enterprises in the tourism sector.