S.African businesses encouraged to explore regional prospects - CNBC Africa

S.African businesses encouraged to explore regional prospects

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

South African businesses should explore opportunities beyond borders, this is according to SAIPA. PHOTOS: Algosec

This follows the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) business index reaching its lowest level in 14 years in July.

“With sub-Saharan African economies outstripping the local and many global economies in terms of growth, the result is that many promising opportunities are opening up for doing business in sub-Saharan Africa in a variety of sectors,” said Thomas Höppli, economic research analyst for SAIPA.

According to Höppli’s report entitled, Doing Business in sub-Saharan, there are challenges to doing business in sub-Saharan African countries, but the opportunities are also abundant and well worth investigating by companies wishing to grow on the continent.

(READ MORE: S.Africa business leaders more open to innovation)

The report further says many of the challenges to doing business – like bureaucratic red tape, corruption and infrastructure issues such as poor roads and unstable power supplies – are far more apparent to those physically establishing businesses in-country.

“However, another way of tapping into the growth markets in sub-Saharan Africa – instead of physically establishing a business in-country – is through trade,” said the report.

“The high growth in many of these countries, spurred by export activities and related investment, suggests that demand for imported products as well as purchasing power is increasing rapidly and that they could thus be interesting export markets and foreign direct investment destinations.”

(READ MORE: African leaders take on a proactive approach to intra-Africa trade)

Höppli on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) said, exporting could be the wisest entry option as setting up a branch in any other country may be beyond their reach.

He says to succeed, SMEs require to market businesses through online platforms.

“To this end, social media may be very useful as well as other digital marketing opportunities, which tend to be comparatively cheaper. Also, collaboration with a marketing agency in the identified export markets may help to create demand.”