Welcome from the Chairman of the South African Chamber UK, Sharon Constançon CDir MBA FCIS FCIBM FIoD MCSI
South Africa, a go to destination for tourists, international conventions and businesses looking to operate in an emerging economy and Africa, a total market of about 1 billion people and including some of the fastest growing world economies (McKinsey Global Institute). A market of incredible opportunity to global businesses, South Africa has special relationships with the Southern African Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community, bilateral agreements with African and Island countries and a logical shipping route east to west.
Culturally and physically diverse, a large country situated at the tip of Africa, a gateway to Africa and an East West shipping and telecoms link. South Africa boasts a sophisticated communications, road, rail and port network, first world cities and an energy to do business, a sound legal, banking and financial system supports investment in the country. Areas of growth include agriculture, agritech, technology, clean energy, mining, manufacturing, tourism and commerce.
South Africa is an affordable destination for trade, business is predominantly in English, being one of 11 official languages, has a familiar rule of law and is ranked 73rd out of 189 countries in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s 2016 “Doing Business” report, therefore being ahead of BRIC and African nations. As a Commonwealth country, the ties to the UK are strong – even the road signage is familiar. It has a good, recent trade agreement secured with the EU that can be a blueprint to support new trade agreements for the UK under Brexit.
The National Development Plan is aligned to investment opportunities – as global investment can support, through business, trade and investment to reduce the unemployment and improve the economy, the Plan’s key drivers. Corporate tax is affordable at 28% and VAT is a comfortable 14%.
The stock exchange is recognised by The World Economic Forum (2015-16) as the first in the world on the Global Competitiveness Index – for financing via the equity market and regulation of the securities exchanges. King IV, the recent release of their governance Code, is deemed to be the most robust in the world.
An easy country to reach with over 30 airlines flying to SA, of which at least three are direct flights from the UK. No time zone changes bodes well for lack of jet lag, allowing business travellers to be up to speed on landing.
Above all, the rainbow nation smiles, is happy, is energetic and welcoming. The country is spectacular and the food and wine compete with excellent hospitality.
Hamba Kahle (Go well).
Sharon Constançon CDir MBA FCIS FCIBM FIoD MCSI
Chairman of the South African Chamber UK and CEO of Genius Methods Ltd and Valufin Limited, Member of CISI, International Committee
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