OBG Event

08 Jun 2012

Country’s efforts to galvanise industrial output take centre stage in 2012 publication

South Africa’s drive to cement its position as the gateway to the rest of the continent through a wave of major initiatives, including extensive transport infrastructure upgrades, is given in-depth analysis in a landmark report just published by Oxford Business Group (OBG). 

The Report: South Africa 2012 provides wide-ranging coverage of the government’s efforts to boost growth across the industrial sector, particularly in manufacturing, which it hopes will help the country address its unemployment problems. It also considers the initiatives being put in place to improve energy infrastructure and secure steady power supplies as the country looks to tackle the challenge of rising demand.

The new publication was launched at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, on Friday, 8th June 2012 at an event attended by more than 200 high-profile guests, including the Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies who was one of the guest speakers.

The Report: South Africa 2012 contains an exclusive interview with President Jacob Zuma, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It provides a wide range of contributions from leading political, economic and business representatives, including the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus, and the Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu.

International personalities, such as the Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurria, the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Damata Pimentel, the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and the President of Virgin Atlantic Richard Branson also offer their views on South Africa’s economic development.

OBG’s new report puts South Africa’s mining industry in the spotlight, documenting the potential for expansion in new markets, especially China, while exploring promising growth segments such as iron ore. The publication includes a roundtable in which key players from the mining industry give their views on a range of topical issues relating to the sector.

With job creation a high priority for the government, The Report: South Africa 2012 charts the major drive under way aimed at increasing industrial output. There is extensive analysis of the automotive and steel sectors which are well positioned to help spearhead further economic growth and attract investment.

The Group’s latest publication maps out South Africa’s list of ambitious transport projects, spearheaded by rail and port developments, which will further enhance the infrastructure upgrades put in place for the FIFA World Cup 2010. It looks at the country’s plans to extend the reach of its tourism industry on the back of the international football tournament by attracting more visitors from Africa and Asia and building up the business, conference and events segment.

The Report: South Africa 2012 has been produced in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry. Contributions have also been made by Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, who teamed up with OBG to produce the Law Chapter and ABSA Capital who provided the report’s Capital Markets analysis.

Regional Editor Robert Tashima said that while South Africa faced some sizable structural challenges, it still boasted an attractive investment environment that few regional peers could match.

“South Africa has made a fairly strong recovery from the 2009 contraction, driven in large part by domestic consumption,” he said. “The focus over the medium term will need to unshackle greater output in productive sectors, particularly those that provide greater multiplier effects, such as industry and infrastructure.”

OBG’s Country Director Elizabeth Denworth highlighted the key role that the Group’s partners had played in the information-gathering process for The Report: South Africa 2012, saying their local knowledge had helped OBG break new ground in its research.

“Our partners here have in-depth understanding of the important developments taking place in the country, particularly its efforts to boost growth which have already begun producing a turnaround in several sectors of the economy,” she said. “I am confident that by capturing these significant developments and analysing them in detail, we have produced a report that will be hugely useful to the global business community when they come to make their investment decisions.”

The Report: South Africa 2012 marks the culmination of more than eight months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The report is available in print or online.