President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa must forge a new economy in a new global reality.
“We have to both recover the ground that we have lost due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and to gain new ground by placing our economy on a fundamentally different growth trajectory,” President Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter on Monday.
He said the country’s economic recovery plan is not about a return to what was, but about transformation to what is next.
“One of the concrete ways that we can do this is by harnessing the job creating potential of the digital economy, whose growth has only been accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic,” President Ramaphosa said.
He said it is remarkable that South Africa was ranked first in the world as a destination for global business services often called business process outsourcing in a survey of over 600 executives from eight key sourcing markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA.
“This is truly a remarkable achievement. In a short space of time, our country has propelled itself from a relatively unknown destination for offshore customer service delivery, in the shadow of large competitors such as India and the Philippines, to the very forefront of the global industry.
“The story of how this was achieved holds important lessons for what we can do if we work relentlessly as government and social partners towards a common goal,” President Ramaphosa said.
South Africa has several advantages that make it an attractive destination for business services.
“First, we have sophisticated digital infrastructure, including mobile networks and high-speed broadband.
“Second, we have a young, dynamic and skilled workforce that delivers a world-renowned quality of service, along with deep knowledge in technology and financial services. Thirdly, we have a high level of English proficiency, and finally, we are positioned in a similar time zone to our key export markets.”
According to President Ramaphosa, these unique attributes have provided the country with a strong foundation to work from.
Government introduced the Global Business Services Incentive just over two years ago to encourage investment and support job creation in the sector. The incentive has been successful in reducing costs and attracting new investors to South Africa.