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Every year global management consulting firm AT Kearney publishes a keenly followed list of the top 25 destinations for Foreign Direct Investment index. Given recent claims by Trade & Industry minister Rob Davies, I was looking forward to seeing South Africa back among the Top 25 in the latest edition, released yesterday.
It was not to be. The 2016 table sees former economic pariahs Taiwan, Thailand and Ireland climb back into the Top 25. But there’s no mention of SA, indeed, not a single African country makes the table. Having held 11th place as recently as 2011, SA has been losing ground ever since. It fell off the list completely last year.
Instead of being prodded into action by an umpteenth wake-up call, Pretoria will doubtless conclude the table reflects a swing of fixed investment away from the developing world. Certainly, Brazil’s drop from 6th to 12th place is consistent with that trend; but despite an economic slowdown China is still Number Two (behind the USA) and India actually improved from 11th to 9th.
South Africa’s drought of foreign direct investment, like its pathetic economic growth rate, is related to domestic reasons. And is worsening. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
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