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March 08, 2011

Cape Town investment opportunities: Some thoughts from Guy Lundy

Guy Lundy. Photo supplied by Accelerate Cape Town

It’s no secret that Cape Town is a great place to live and visit, but many international investors still haven’t discovered the range of opportunities that exist in South Africa’s oldest city.

To get a basic overview of Cape Town’s investment potential, I sat down with Guy Lundy recently, an economic genius and futurist. In short, he is the CEO of Accelerate Cape Town, co-author of South Africa 2014: The Story of our Future, a keynote speaker, strategy consultant and board member of Wesgro (the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency).

Lundy believes Cape Town is an “inspirational” investment destination, with a strong “knowledge economy”. He points out that the city constantly attracts top international thinkers and industry experts. “For example, Cape Town hosts the Mining Indaba every year, even though there are no mines here.”

Some of the world’s biggest companies have based themselves in Cape Town, such as multinational media giants, Naspers. “They could be based anywhere in the world, yet they have chosen Cape Town,” says Lundy. “Naspers is a classic economy business, they use their heads.”

Cape Town is known for its creativity and many big brands are already making use of advertising and design agencies here. Campaign work for the city of Abu Dhabi is taken care of by Ogilvy, for example, also known for their work with companies like Castrol and Hyundai.

King James, ranked as South Africa’s top ad agency at the 2010 Loerie Awards, is based in Cape Town because “from a creative perspective, it moves at just the right speed,” so says Director Alistair King.

Countless films and television commercials have been shot in Cape Town and excellent opportunities exist for investors in this sector.

Lundy also points out that Cape Town’s excellent geographical position is the reason it was established as a port city in the first place. Not only is Cape Town a “global gateway to Africa”, but it is also a very convenient shipping service station: “If you are moving something from Singapore to Sao Paulo, for example, you have to stop somewhere along the way,” he says.

Cape Town is ideally located to provide services along the west coast of Africa, bearing in mind the rich natural resources of countries such as Angola and Nigeria. Big opportunities thus exist in shipping, oil and gas services.

The cosmopolitan Mother City, renowned for its cleanliness and safety, has been welcoming expatriates and their families for many years.

Addressing the stereotype that Cape Town is purely a holiday destination, Lundy says, “We are a serious business city, but we do happen to offer a great living environment as well.”

For more information about investing in Cape Town, contact the Wesgro head office by phoning +27 (0)21 487 8600 or visiting their website.

Learn more about the work of Accelerate Cape Town by visiting their website.

For some excellent future thinking, have a look at Guy Lundy’s personal website.

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