Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Global logistics execs see coming surge of African investment

Indepth

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Nearly 62% of global logistics professionals say their companies are planning additional or first-time investments in Africa, according to a closely watched yearly industry survey.

The survey of 830 logistics executives is part of the 15th annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, a snapshot of industry sentiment and ranking of the world’s 50 leading emerging markets.

The Index ranks countries for overall competitiveness based on their logistics strengths, business climates and digital readiness — factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, air and ocean carriers, distributors and investors.

In the 2024 Index, the rankings of most African economies changed little from a year earlier, but businesses indicate they are looking ahead at massive population growth and trade expansion spurred by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“This is the most optimism we’ve seen about Africa in the 15 years of the Index,” says Agility Vice Chairman Tarek Sultan. “Africa’s population will double by 2050, when one in four people on the planet will be African.

International businesses realize that the time is now for Africa — they need to invest, establish their brands, and develop the next generation of African talent if they’re going to ride the coming wave of growth.”

China and India were 1 and 2 in the 50-country Index rankings. In Africa, Egypt (20), Morocco (22), South Africa (24) and Kenya (25) were the top performers, followed by Ghana (31), Nigeria (36), Tunisia (37), Tanzania (41), Algeria (42), Uganda (43), Ethiopia (45), Mozambique (46), Angola (47), Libya (50).

Egypt has Africa’s highest-ranked domestic logistics opportunities — 13th in that category; South Africa (15) was tops in Africa for international logistics; Morocco (12) has Africa’s best business fundamentals; Kenya (9) is Africa’s most digitally ready – and the continent’s highest-ranked country in any category.

More than 63% of survey respondents say their companies continue overhauling supply chains by spreading production to multiple locations or relocating it to home markets and nearby countries.

China, the world’s leading producer, stands to be most affected: 37.4% of industry professionals say they plan move production/sourcing out of China or reduce investment there.

Shipping and logistics costs that soared during the COVID pandemic and its aftermath are still climbing but at a slower rate, the survey found. One way shippers expect to cope is by increasing use of digital freight forwarding from 37.8% today to 52% in five years.

2024 Index Highlights

SURVEY

  • Supply chain restructuring – India, Europe and North America rank ahead of China as destinations executives expect to move production to in 2024 and onwards.
  • China – 40% expect their businesses to be less reliant on China in five years. Leading factors in decisions to de-risk in China: difficulty of doing business; U.S.-China trade friction; a slowing economy; the harshness of China’s COVID restrictions.
  • Climate change – 66% say climate change is something they’re planning for or already affecting their businesses.
  • Emerging markets – the largest percentage sees increased risk/decreased rewards in emerging markets.
  • India – many see India growing in importance as a producer and market, but cite inadequate infrastructure and corruption as the biggest obstacles there.

COUNTRY RANKINGS

  • In the Middle East and North Africa, overall rankings were: UAE (3); Saudi Arabia (6); Qatar (7); Turkey (11); Oman (15); Bahrain (16); Jordan (17); Egypt (20); Kuwait (21); Morocco (22); Tunisia (37); Lebanon (38); Iran (40); Algeria (42); Libya (50).
  • Rankings in Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa (24); Kenya (25); Ghana (31); Nigeria (36); Tanzania (41); Uganda (43); Ethiopia (45); Mozambique (46); Angola (47).
  • Index rankings in Asia: China (1); India (2); Malaysia (4); Indonesia (5); Vietnam (8); Thailand (10); Philippines (18); Kazakhstan (23); Sri Lanka (26); Pakistan (29); Cambodia (32); Bangladesh (33); Myanmar (49).
  • Rankings for Latin America: Mexico (9); Chile (12); Brazil (14); Uruguay (19); Peru (28); Colombia (27); Argentina (30); Ecuador (35); Paraguay (39); Bolivia (44); Venezuela (48).
  • In Europe: Russia (13); Ukraine (34).

Transport Intelligence (https://apo-opa.co/4bp0Ijf) (Ti), a leading analysis and research firm for the logistics industry, has compiled the Index since it was launched in 2009.

John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Ti, said: “Supply chain managers are still coming to terms with the political and economic instability characterising the post-COVID global economy.

Geopolitical relationships are changing rapidly, and this is having a major impact on international trade and risk profiles.

Businesses need to be alive to the opportunities and threats that exist in emerging markets and use data, such as that the Agility Emerging Market Logistics Index, to inform agile decision-making.”

Also Read

Angola reports massive growth in non-oil exports

South Africa squandering export opportunities-Expert

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