South Africa has been identified as one of the key markets for global investors, moving up to fourth position, according to new research published by UK Trade & Investment.
Addressing the Economist Intelligence Unit's Emerging Markets, the UK Secretary or State, Lord Mandelson revealed the findings of a new report which examines global business attitudes to emerging markets in light of the global downturn.
"Businesses should be strategic about their exports and plan for the long-term. Many emerging markets are outperforming developed economies, and are expected to grow strongly for years to come," Lord Mandelson said.
Commissioned by UK Trade & Investment, the "Survive and Prosper: emerging markets in the global recession" report gives fresh insights into the opportunities and longer-term strategic importance offered by emerging economies.
It is based on a survey of more than 540 high-level business executives from across 19 business sectors; over 40 per cent of those interviewed worked for companies headquartered in emerging markets.
Key findings include:
* 77% of companies expect the prospects for the global economy to improve in 2010-11;
* Despite the economic downturn, emerging markets support global profitability;
* Emerging market economies, on the back of the continued high growth and market size of China and India, have outperformed those of developed countries in 2009;
* 60% of companies surveyed expected to derive more than 20% of their total revenues from emerging markets in five years' time – almost double the current figure of 31%;
* Political risk (including the risk of nationalisation and expropriation) was cited by 50% of survey respondents as the greatest government-related obstacle to doing business in emerging markets.
Commenting on the research Lord Mandelson said: "The global recession was a wake-up call for companies to diversify their export base and seek out new opportunities in the emerging world. We are encouraging UK business to look abroad and find new business in these exciting new markets."