Research to give fresh insight into SA economy

Johannesburg – A new research report on South Africa, expected to be released next year, is to provide unique insight into the workings of the country’s economy, says the Department of Trade and Industry.

The department, together with the Oxford Business Group (OBG), launched ‘The Report: South Africa 2012’, which is expected to explore investment opportunities within South African borders.

The research into the various sectors of the South African economy is expected to take up to nine months to conduct interviews with dedicated researchers visiting various sectors in the South African economy, including the private sector.

“The dti supports the report,” said dti chief director in the international trade division, Brendan Vickers, speaking on behalf of Director General Lionel October. October, who had been scheduled to address the launch, had been called to Parliament.

The dti said foreign investment played an important role in growing South Africa’s economy.

OBG is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm that publishes economic intelligence on markets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East among others.

This would be the third report by OBG on South Africa, and it will now be conducted annually.

The dti noted that although great strides had been made in South Africa – the biggest economy on the continent – the country was still grappling with poverty and unemployment. To address this requires extensive knowledge of not just the South African market but of other developing countries as well.

“We are pleased to support the launch of the report based on an appreciation of the role OBG plays in accurately and thoroughly educating both the domestic and international investment communities of both the challenges and opportunities of doing business in emerging markets,” said October.

The dti is tasked with facilitating investment. “Given the volatility of the global economy, they have their hands full with issues such as the fluctuating rand’s impact on the country’s competitiveness” said October.

Africa is the world’s second fastest growing economy after Asia. “We are a strong but complex nation… when the results of the report are published next year, the conclusions will accurately capture the dynamics of Africa’s most vibrant economy and help to brand South Africa as a destination for investment in business,” explained October.

Regional Editor at OBG Robert Tshima described the South African market as a dynamic market worthy of research, and this was evident by the country’s well capitalized banks, among others. The research is a result of a partnership between the dti and OBG.

The OBG will be funding the research, with the department not spending any money on the research.

In terms of methodology, the OBG is hoping to meet with at least five organisations per day to discuss how they perceive the particular sector they are in. Interactions will be both with the public and private sector.

Elizabeth Denworth, the South African country director for OBG, said it was too early to say when the publication date of the report will be. – BuaNews

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