South Africa has won an international award as the best global business services sector location for 2021 after earning US$127 million in foreign exchange in the past year despite the economic challenges faced during the current coronavirus pandemic, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel announced on Friday.The country beat stiff competition from India, The Philippines, Malaysia, Poland, Egypt and Northern Ireland to claim the top award for the first time after ranking second last year, Patel said.
“In a boost to business confidence, South Africa has won an award as the top global location for business process services in a sector that is rapidly expanding locally, and exporting call centres and related services to other parts of the world,” Patel said.
The minister welcomed the top award in the country’s business service industry which has positioned itself as one of the premier locations internationally for business services.
“The business services sector, which includes call centres, technical support and back and front office services for major multinationals and South African firms, has seen exceptional growth in recent years, and has been a major source of job creation for young South Africans,” he added.
The minister was, however, quick to point out that the award was made possible by the government’s financial injection into the sector during the coronavirus pandemic, which saw other countries’ operations crippled due to the Covid-19 induced economic hardships worldwide.
The state funding helped to showcase the talent, technology and know-how of young South Africans and to allow them to compete against the best in the world by creating 14,300 new jobs in the sector, Patel said.