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Ten most attractive countries to invest in amid pandemic

By , People Daily Digital
Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 08:55 | 10 mins read

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) recently released its list of top sectors to invest in Africa. This targets investors eyeing real assets or looking to expand businesses that rely on physical infrastructure. This year’s approach included tenets of the operating environment, fiscal scores and development plans, all of which are key to attracting investments amid Covid-19.

Egypt

While Egypt’s economy was hard hit by the pandemic, it was also one of the first to bounce back towards growth. The country has made itself a beacon for overseas investors, compelled by favourable incentives and a large and dynamic domestic market. Investors have been attracted to Egypt’s intoxicating mix of rapid gross domestic product (GDP) growth, a strategic geographical position, a skilled labor force and, crucially, a large domestic market.

Morocco

The economy of Morocco continues to benefit from political stability. A special fund to combat Covid-19 was established in 2020, representing 2.7 per cent of GDP. Two-thirds of the funds were to be provided by private sources and one third by the government. Morocco’s attractiveness as the continent’s fifth-largest business market. Morocco’s rapid technological growth has also been encouraged by various government initiatives including the country’s location which also provides an opportunity for many western countries to utilize it as an opportunity to gain an investment foothold in the rest of Africa.

South Africa

The country offers a strong manufacturing and retail base that continues to support southern African regional economies with goods and services. South Africa has a world-class business infrastructure, including a vibrant financial system and markets, coupled with a dynamic private sector with deep experience operating under challenging emerging market conditions. It has enormous untapped potential in natural resources, such as mining, farming and tourism.

Rwanda

Rwanda continues to benefit from the efforts it has made to improve its operating environment. Furthermore, as part of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST), various investments will leverage the construction and energy sectors over the next few years. Increasing exports and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are central priorities of the government of Rwanda. After the turn of the millennium, the country had insufficient access to energy, particularly in rural areas and still requires significant investment in its infrastructure to deepen growth.

Botswana

The country has high foreign exchange reserves, which enabled it to weather the pandemic-induced economic storm better than most. The Pula Fund, a sovereign fund created in 1994 that finances a large part of the budget deficit, has meant that fiscal dependency on debt has been low. Its strategic location, skilled workforce and politically stable environment have attracted the attention of international investors, leading to a significant influx of FDI. Botswana scores highly on credit rating, import cover and ease of doing business.

Ghana

Ghana entered the current crisis on a relatively stronger footing than its African peers. Structurally, its economy has seen major shifts over the past few years, positioning it for significant growth going forward. This is supported by primary sectors like oil, gold and accelerated development in the tertiary sector. It is the biggest recipient of foreign investment in West Africa, has thrown its weight behind a strategy to become the hub for financial services, logistics and manufacturing within the next decade. The country has followed a robust industrialization policy and has one of the best-integrated infrastructure networks – including railways, highways, ports and air links in west Africa. Investors recognize this and want to set up a base in Ghana before expanding into the rest of the region.

Mauritius

Aided by an extremely favourable tax regime, its financial sector will remain one of the main drivers of Mauritius’ economy into the future. Key factors in the success of Mauritius in attracting FDI include the existence of preferential trading agreements giving free access to the EU and US markets coupled with historical ties with Asia and Europe. The driving force of Mauritius’ development has been its exports sectors, namely the sugar sector, tourism and the Export Processing Zone (EPZ).

Côte d’Ivoire

A surge in private investment is expected to continue to fuel trade, construction, agri-industry, transport and the ICT sector. Private investment will benefit from the impetus provided by public investment under the 2016-20 National Development Plan. Côte d’Ivoire is on an economic reform drive to make the country a more attractive place for business. The West African country is pushing ahead with reforms to boost FDI, which has been on the rise since 2012, but remains low in relative and absolute terms compared to other countries in the region. The country has achieved an annual average gross domestic product growth of 8 per cent.

Kenya

Rand Merchant Bank estimates that the Kenyan government’s efforts to implement the “Big Four” agenda focused on industrialisation, universal health coverage, food security and affordable housing will invariably spur economic growth. Kenya has an open economy and the East African country has improved its FDI offering over the past few years. Despite a decrease of 18 per cent inflows of FDI in Kenya prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says the country has improved its investment climate over the past few years, becoming an attractive location for foreign investors interested in the greater East African region.

Tanzania

Egypt

While Egypt’s economy was hard hit by the pandemic, it was also one of the first to bounce back towards growth. The country has made itself a beacon for overseas investors, compelled by favourable incentives and a large and dynamic domestic market. Investors have been attracted to Egypt’s intoxicating mix of rapid gross domestic product (GDP) growth, a strategic geographical position, a skilled labor force and, crucially, a large domestic market.

Morocco

The economy of Morocco continues to benefit from political stability. A special fund to combat Covid-19 was established in 2020, representing 2.7 per cent of GDP. Two-thirds of the funds were to be provided by private sources and one third by the government. Morocco’s attractiveness as the continent’s fifth-largest business market. Morocco’s rapid technological growth has also been encouraged by various government initiatives including the country’s location which also provides an opportunity for many western countries to utilize it as an opportunity to gain an investment foothold in the rest of Africa.

South Africa

The country offers a strong manufacturing and retail base that continues to support southern African regional economies with goods and services. South Africa has a world-class business infrastructure, including a vibrant financial system and markets, coupled with a dynamic private sector with deep experience operating under challenging emerging market conditions. It has enormous untapped potential in natural resources, such as mining, farming and tourism.

Rwanda

Rwanda continues to benefit from the efforts it has made to improve its operating environment. Furthermore, as part of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST), various investments will leverage the construction and energy sectors over the next few years. Increasing exports and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are central priorities of the government of Rwanda. After the turn of the millennium, the country had insufficient access to energy, particularly in rural areas and still requires significant investment in its infrastructure to deepen growth.

Botswana

The country has high foreign exchange reserves, which enabled it to weather the pandemic-induced economic storm better than most. The Pula Fund, a sovereign fund created in 1994 that finances a large part of the budget deficit, has meant that fiscal dependency on debt has been low. Its strategic location, skilled workforce and politically stable environment have attracted the attention of international investors, leading to a significant influx of FDI. Botswana scores highly on credit rating, import cover and ease of doing business.

Ghana

Ghana entered the current crisis on a relatively stronger footing than its African peers. Structurally, its economy has seen major shifts over the past few years, positioning it for significant growth going forward. This is supported by primary sectors like oil, gold and accelerated development in the tertiary sector. It is the biggest recipient of foreign investment in West Africa, has thrown its weight behind a strategy to become the hub for financial services, logistics and manufacturing within the next decade. The country has followed a robust industrialization policy and has one of the best-integrated infrastructure networks – including railways, highways, ports and air links in west Africa. Investors recognize this and want to set up a base in Ghana before expanding into the rest of the region.

Mauritius

Aided by an extremely favourable tax regime, its financial sector will remain one of the main drivers of Mauritius’ economy into the future. Key factors in the success of Mauritius in attracting FDI include the existence of preferential trading agreements giving free access to the EU and US markets coupled with historical ties with Asia and Europe. The driving force of Mauritius’ development has been its exports sectors, namely the sugar sector, tourism and the Export Processing Zone (EPZ).

Côte d’Ivoire

A surge in private investment is expected to continue to fuel trade, construction, agri-industry, transport and the ICT sector. Private investment will benefit from the impetus provided by public investment under the 2016-20 National Development Plan. Côte d’Ivoire is on an economic reform drive to make the country a more attractive place for business. The West African country is pushing ahead with reforms to boost FDI, which has been on the rise since 2012, but remains low in relative and absolute terms compared to other countries in the region. The country has achieved an annual average gross domestic product growth of 8 per cent.

Kenya

Rand Merchant Bank estimates that the Kenyan government’s efforts to implement the “Big Four” agenda focused on industrialisation, universal health coverage, food security and affordable housing will invariably spur economic growth. Kenya has an open economy and the East African country has improved its FDI offering over the past few years. Despite a decrease of 18 per cent inflows of FDI in Kenya prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says the country has improved its investment climate over the past few years, becoming an attractive location for foreign investors interested in the greater East African region.

Tanzania

Tanzania has been on a rapid path of development over the past few years. This growth can be attributed to consistent public investment from the government in key secondary and tertiary sectors, ranging from the energy sector to advancements in the telecommunications and finance sectors. Tanzania has a relatively stable political environment, reasonable macroeconomic policies, and resiliency from external shocks. However, recently adopted Government of Tanzania (GoT) policies raise questions about short- and medium-term prospects for foreign direct investment (FDI), and foster a more challenging business environment. Profitable sectors for foreign investment in Tanzania have traditionally included agriculture, mining and services, construction, tourism, and trade.

Egypt

While Egypt’s economy was hard hit by the pandemic, it was also one of the first to bounce back towards growth. The country has made itself a beacon for overseas investors, compelled by favourable incentives and a large and dynamic domestic market. Investors have been attracted to Egypt’s intoxicating mix of rapid gross domestic product (GDP) growth, a strategic geographical position, a skilled labor force and, crucially, a large domestic market.

Morocco

The economy of Morocco continues to benefit from political stability. A special fund to combat Covid-19 was established in 2020, representing 2.7 per cent of GDP. Two-thirds of the funds were to be provided by private sources and one third by the government. Morocco’s attractiveness as the continent’s fifth-largest business market. Morocco’s rapid technological growth has also been encouraged by various government initiatives including the country’s location which also provides an opportunity for many western countries to utilize it as an opportunity to gain an investment foothold in the rest of Africa.

South Africa

The country offers a strong manufacturing and retail base that continues to support southern African regional economies with goods and services. South Africa has a world-class business infrastructure, including a vibrant financial system and markets, coupled with a dynamic private sector with deep experience operating under challenging emerging market conditions. It has enormous untapped potential in natural resources, such as mining, farming and tourism.

Rwanda

Rwanda continues to benefit from the efforts it has made to improve its operating environment. Furthermore, as part of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST), various investments will leverage the construction and energy sectors over the next few years. Increasing exports and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are central priorities of the government of Rwanda. After the turn of the millennium, the country had insufficient access to energy, particularly in rural areas and still requires significant investment in its infrastructure to deepen growth.

Botswana

The country has high foreign exchange reserves, which enabled it to weather the pandemic-induced economic storm better than most. The Pula Fund, a sovereign fund created in 1994 that finances a large part of the budget deficit, has meant that fiscal dependency on debt has been low. Its strategic location, skilled workforce and politically stable environment have attracted the attention of international investors, leading to a significant influx of FDI. Botswana scores highly on credit rating, import cover and ease of doing business.

Ghana

Ghana entered the current crisis on a relatively stronger footing than its African peers. Structurally, its economy has seen major shifts over the past few years, positioning it for significant growth going forward. This is supported by primary sectors like oil, gold and accelerated development in the tertiary sector. It is the biggest recipient of foreign investment in West Africa, has thrown its weight behind a strategy to become the hub for financial services, logistics and manufacturing within the next decade. The country has followed a robust industrialization policy and has one of the best-integrated infrastructure networks – including railways, highways, ports and air links in west Africa. Investors recognize this and want to set up a base in Ghana before expanding into the rest of the region.

Mauritius

Aided by an extremely favourable tax regime, its financial sector will remain one of the main drivers of Mauritius’ economy into the future. Key factors in the success of Mauritius in attracting FDI include the existence of preferential trading agreements giving free access to the EU and US markets coupled with historical ties with Asia and Europe. The driving force of Mauritius’ development has been its exports sectors, namely the sugar sector, tourism and the Export Processing Zone (EPZ).

Côte d’Ivoire

A surge in private investment is expected to continue to fuel trade, construction, agri-industry, transport and the ICT sector. Private investment will benefit from the impetus provided by public investment under the 2016-20 National Development Plan. Côte d’Ivoire is on an economic reform drive to make the country a more attractive place for business. The West African country is pushing ahead with reforms to boost FDI, which has been on the rise since 2012, but remains low in relative and absolute terms compared to other countries in the region. The country has achieved an annual average gross domestic product growth of 8 per cent.

Kenya

Rand Merchant Bank estimates that the Kenyan government’s efforts to implement the “Big Four” agenda focused on industrialisation, universal health coverage, food security and affordable housing will invariably spur economic growth. Kenya has an open economy and the East African country has improved its FDI offering over the past few years. Despite a decrease of 18 per cent inflows of FDI in Kenya prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says the country has improved its investment climate over the past few years, becoming an attractive location for foreign investors interested in the greater East African region.

Tanzania

Tanzania has been on a rapid path of development over the past few years. This growth can be attributed to consistent public investment from the government in key secondary and tertiary sectors, ranging from the energy sector to advancements in the telecommunications and finance sectors. Tanzania has a relatively stable political environment, reasonable macroeconomic policies, and resiliency from external shocks. However, recently adopted Government of Tanzania (GoT) policies raise questions about short- and medium-term prospects for foreign direct investment (FDI), and foster a more challenging business environment. Profitable sectors for foreign investment in Tanzania have traditionally included agriculture, mining and services, construction, tourism, and trade.

Tanzania has been on a rapid path of development over the past few years. This growth can be attributed to consistent public investment from the government in key secondary and tertiary sectors, ranging from the energy sector to advancements in the telecommunications and finance sectors. Tanzania has a relatively stable political environment, reasonable macroeconomic policies, and resiliency from external shocks. However, recently adopted Government of Tanzania (GoT) policies raise questions about short- and medium-term prospects for foreign direct investment (FDI), and foster a more challenging business environment. Profitable sectors for foreign investment in Tanzania have traditionally included agriculture, mining and services, construction, tourism, and trade.

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