South Africa – Your Next International Connection?

By Michael Jones (michael.jones@tsiglobalconsulting.com)

South Africa is one of those countries that you often hear about how well it’s doing.  Despite its geography and history, modern South Africa has defied the stereotype of perpetual poverty that many other Sub-Saharan nations face, and has consistently grown into a minor world power.  All of this growth surely suggests that western businesses are flocking to Johannesburg in droves to develop this new market, right?

Oddly enough, no.  Such is one of the paradoxes of South Africa: despite lots of positive press about its stable growth, there are not many western companies that have brought their operations into South Africa.  Perhaps it’s a result of being overshadowed by other emerging markets like India or China, or western companies’ general reluctance to move operations into Africa (no one can really be sure), but the South African market is still largely untapped.  This places western businesses that are considering international expansion in a great position: instead of expanding into over-saturated, more well-known markets, they can take advantage of South Africa’s new-found wealth, large labor force, and pro-growth attitude to develop a profitable business venture.

For those of you who may be interested in bringing your business to South Africa, here are some general facts that you should know.  South Africa has a population of roughly 53 million people, with a GDP per capita of roughly $12,000.  The overall GDP is $ 623 billion, which is growing at a steady rate of 2.5% per year.  Some of South Africa’s major industries are mining, automobile assembly, metalworking (including steel), machinery, textile, and chemical production, and ship repair, meaning that this country tends to lean towards heavy industry in its economic output.  It has the 35th largest work force in the world at 18.06 million people, but also has one of the highest unemployment rates at 25%.  South Africa is a large importer of petroleum, along with scientific materials and foodstuffs.  The company income tax rate for South Africa is 28% of the company’s taxable income.

TSI Global Consulting has an extensive network of contacts in South Africa who can help you develop your business in this dynamic country.  If you are interested in expanding your international operations, please give TSI Global Consulting a call at 210-757-0618 for a consultation.  Also, please continue to check back often for more TSI blog updates.

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