South Africa's super exporters

  • Year: 2014
  • Publication Author(s): Blessing Chipanda

Promoting exports to develop manufacturing remains a key growth strategy in the National Development Plan. Super-exporters dominate almost all South Africa's export sectors. They are the main drivers of export growth and they define the country's export structure. However, despite their dominance, super-exporters have been losing dynamism and competitiveness, with 93% of these firms not creating sufficient new high-value exports to replace those that died out during the global financial crisis. According to the World Bank, South Africa is exploiting only about 20% of its potential export relationships compared to China's and Germany's 70%. Smaller South African exporters are more experimental but are not yet large enough to drive aggregate exports.

This policy brief, compiled by TIPS Intern Blessing Chipanda, considers the policy implications in the face of dominance of South Africa's super exporters, levels of sophistication and size of their operations.
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