SA cities rank high in emerging-markets index

Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban rank high on the MasterCard Worldwide Centres of Commerce Emerging-Market Index, released on Wednesday.

All three cities provided solid business environments for companies seeking global growth, the index found.

The index provides insights into 65 leading cities driving growth within over 30 emerging markets.

Johannesburg was ranked eleven among the 65 cities in the index. Cape Town and Durban were ranked 33rd and 37th respectively.

“Given the current economic climate, MasterCard is focused on providing valuable insights that assist our customers in identifying new market opportunities for the future,” said Anthony West, general manager of MasterCard Africa.

“The Emerging Markets Index is key to that commitment,” he said.

Top of the Index was Shanghai, not unsurprisingly given China’s recent economic growth, MasterCard said.

The other top ten cities are: Beijing, Budapest, Kuala Lumpur, Santiago, Guangzhou, Mexico City, Warsaw, Bangkok and Shenzhen.

Senior economist at T-Sec Mike Schussler noted that all three of South Africa’s cities ranked well above the other African cities

“Johannesburg, in particular, even edged out acclaimed emerging cities in Europe and Asia,” he noted.

Particularly noteworthy was South Africa’s performance in the study’s “business environment” dimension.

The dimension, which assessed the business environment facing companies looking to operate in each of the 65 cities, was seen by the research panel as the most critical dimension defining the commercial importance of an emerging city.

“The performance of the SA cities on this dimension has much to do with the country’s well-respected legal system, especially the aspect that regulates businesses and their operations,” Schussler said.

He said that, for example, South Africa ranked highly in investor protection which measured the strength of the legal protections afforded to minority shareholders against the misuse of corporate assets by directors.

The ease with which business could obtain credit in SA was also a “real strong point”, he added. - Sapa


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