Despite economic challenges South Africa is still open for business

BRAND  South Africa on Wednesday welcomed the news that South Africa had climbed 14 places in the World Bank’s 2016 Logistics Performance Index, saying this showed that South Africa was certainly open for business.

The country now stands at number 20 of the 160 countries assessed by the survey that assesses criteria including the efficiency of customs and border clearance, the quality of trade and transport infrastructure and the frequency with which shipments arrive on time.

Brand SA’s chief executive Kingsley Makhubela said: “The ease of movement for goods and services can contribute significantly to a country’s competitiveness, particularly as a destination for investment. This improvement in South Africa’s logistics support tells us that South Africa is certainly open for business.

“We welcome this improvement because it communicates the reality of a country and its citizens at work to improve perceptions of South Africa as an investment destination. This also reinforces perceptions about South Africans from a range of other studies as hardworking and welcoming.”

The statement from Brand SA also welcomed the country’s performance in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Human Capital Report, released on Tuesday, which ranks the country at number 88 of 130 countries. The report, which measures how well countries utilise the full potential of their human capital, placed South African in the range of utilising 60-70 percent of human capital available.

Makhubela said: “A nation’s human capital is its most valuable asset, and this report indicates that more must be done to maximise the potential of our people. This will require collaboration between government, business and civil society.

“Most importantly, it will require the implementation of key programmes including the National Development Plan and the National Youth Policy. Our national competitiveness rests on each citizen in the country,” he concluded.

Commenting on the human capital report on Tuesday, Saadia Zahidi, head of employment initiatives at WEF, told the African News Agency: “The economies that have recently been able to leapfrog on human capital are those that strategically harnessed technology to improve learning and work opportunities for youth and adults alike in the short term, while making long-term investments in developing human capital.

“Africa has a similar opportunity for fully delivering on the promise of its demographic dividend,” she said. – ANA