The 2008 global financial crisis fast-tracked the need for new growing markets, with Africa considered to be offering a higher rate of return on foreign investment than any other region. While the extractive industry dominates in terms of the value of overall FDI flows, investment in the services sector, notably among infrastructure-related projects in construction, transportation, electricity, communications and water, has been expanding.
In terms of value, FDI inflows have recently been dominated by multinational corporations from Malaysia, South Africa, China and India. The South African corporate presence has traditionally been strongest in SADC. However, across the subcontinent, South African corporations and investments are continuously emerging and gradually expanding beyond SADC’s borders. Flourishing industries for South African investors include consumer-related industries such as food and beverages, financial services, and retail; mining and extractive industries; infrastructure related industries; travel and tourism; and manufacturing (chemicals and pharmaceuticals).