The locational behaviour of foreign direct investment: Evidence from Johannesburg, South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article represents a contribution to the limited scholarship on understanding the locational behaviour of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. Against a background review of international research and debates on locational decision-making of foreign investors at both international (particularly within the developing world) and national scales of analysis, the profile and patterns of foreign investment in Johannesburg are documented and the key factors influencing investor location choice are analysed. Although investors from 34 countries are represented in Johannesburg, the leading ten investor countries, headed by USA, Germany and UK, account for 85% of all investments. An emerging trend is for the growth of FDI from India, China and the Middle East. Reasons given by foreign investors for selecting Johannesburg as an investment destination largely mirror the international experience of location decision-making by foreign investors. Johannesburg is shown to be the preferred choice for business operation both in South Africa and the broader southern African region because of several agglomeration factors which relate to the city's position as economic hub, financial centre and core market of southern Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-435
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Johannesburg
  • Location of foreign direct investment
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The locational behaviour of foreign direct investment: Evidence from Johannesburg, South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this