"Largely due to political reasons and historic events,
South Africa is now taking a prominent role in terms of emerging
markets," says Desler, "because of its vast natural
resources." The gateway to the Southern African region, this
country boasts a gross domestic product (GDP) nearly three times
that of Egypt, its nearest competitor on the continent. Especially
important is manufacturing, which comprises
26 percent of South Africa's GDP.
South Africa has well-developed transportation and communications systems, which help distribute imported goods to the country's major urban centers. Among South Africa's most-wanted products are industrial chemicals, aircraft parts, and drugs and pharmaceuticals. Franchising is booming here as well.