Trends and determinants of inward foreign direct investment to South Africa

by Rusike, T. G.

Abstract (Summary)
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is seen as a way to provide the needed capital inflow to stimulate growth in a domestic economy. FDI can also result in increased employment levels, managerial skills and increase in technology. In efforts to attract FDI, host countries have undertaken various policy incentives to attract foreign investors. This study analyses the trends and determinants of inward FDI to South Africa for the period 1975-2005.

The study starts by reviewing FDI literature on its determinants and provides the macroeconomic background and FDI related policies undertaken in South Africa. The trend and sectoral analysis provides the actual nature of FDI flows to South Africa. An empirical model linking theoretical and empirical determinants of FDI is estimated using the Johansen cointegration and VECM framework. The study also augments the cointegration framework with impulse response and variance decomposition analyses to complement the long and short run determinants of FDI. Dummy variables are used in each of the estimated FDI models to take into account the possibility of structural breaks.

Results show that relative to the size of the economy and to other developing countries, South Africa still receives low levels of inward FDI. Only are few years are exceptional i.e. 1997, 2001 and 2005. From the sectoral distribution, the financial sector is now the major recipient of FDI followed by the mining and manufacturing sectors. The emergence of the financial sector could suggest that FDI motives could have shifted from the natural resource seeking and market seeking to efficiency seeking FDI. The United Kingdom emerges as the major source of FDI to South Africa followed by United States of America and Germany.

Empirical analysis indicated that openness, exchange rate and financial development are important long run determinants of FDI. Increased openness and financial development attract FDI while an increase (depreciation) in the exchange rate deters FDI to South Africa. Market size emerges as a short run determinant of FDI although it is declining in importance. Most of the impulse response analysis confirmed the VECM findings. Variance decomposition analysis showed that FDI itself, imports and exchange rate explain a significant amount of the forecast error variance. The influence of market size variable is small and declining over time.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:economics and economic history


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.