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South Africa

Capital City: Pretoria
%T:%M %A in Pretoria and Johannesburg
South Africa is the economic giant of the African continent, with nearly 40% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the manufacturing sector, 75 out of the 100 main African companies are South African. Growth is regular: GDP growth rate was 2.8% in 2003, 3.7% in 2004 and 4.3% in 2005. The economic indicators show positive signs: public accounts are under control and external debt is low (19.7% of the GDP in 2005). For 2005, the IMF forecasts a 3.9% growth. Nevertheless, the capital markets are having a confidence crisis and Rand's strong volatility can represent a high risk for foreign investors. The social situation still remains very worrying (30% of the population is unemployed) and AIDS pandemia is a major stake for South African attractivity.

South Africa is a big mining power: the country provides 70% of the world platinum. It is the largest producer of gold and the 5th largest producer of diamonds in the world. Because of poor oil resources, the country had to develop a substitute energy: coal, which in South Africa accounts for 60% of the world reserves. The industry is diversified and the service sector is flourishing (65.2% of the GDP). Agriculture represents only 3.8% of the GDP but employs 30% of the active population. The country is the 6th largest producer of wine in the world.

In accordance with the Trade, Development and Cooperation agreement signed with the European Union in the year 2000, almost all the products imported from the European Union (EU) should be exempted from customs duties by the year 2012. The three top import partners are Germany, the United-States and China. The main imported products are transport & equipment goods, manufactured products, oils and chemical products.
Energy mining resources provide 68% of the country's export revenue. The three top export partners are the United States, the United-Kingdom and Japon.

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