In a ceremony in London on Sunday night, South Africa was awarded the Global Sourcing Association's prestigious annual Outsourcing Destination of the Year award in recognition of the country's ability to deliver high-quality skills-based business process services.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), since 2012 South Africa's international offshore BPS market has grown by a compounded 25% from each year to the next. The local industry now boasts around 30 000 BPS jobs.
BPS is an industry supplying technology-based services - call centres and help lines are basic examples - to companies elsewhere in the world. South Africa's English-language heritage gives it a firm advantage in the global industry. The United Kingdom is the leading buyer of South African business services, followed by Australia and the USA, which are growing rapidly.
On Sunday trade and industry minister Dr Rob Davies said the award would help boost the local BPS industry.
"This award cements South Africa's investment position and further presents a value proposition which is underpinned by high quality standards, relevant skills, the potential to deliver complex and non-complex processes and cost savings, which enhances our proposition for business process services globally," he said.
The Global Outsourcing Association is the industry association and professional body for international business services. It works to share best practice, trends and connections across the world.
Last night's ceremony was attended by some 350 representatives from global outsourcing service providers, advisors and buyers.
Davies said South Africa's BPS sector offered more than just cost-saving to global companies. Investors, he said, reported that local service providers also made operations more effective, and improved revenues.
Business process services is one of the DTI's priority sectors. South Africa has shown it can deliver these services in a range of industries: telecommunications, utilities, IT, retail and financial services.
Davies said BPS had huge potential to attract foreign direct investment, helping to create jobs - particularly for young people.
The DTI, he said, had so far supported the creation of 30 000 jobs servicing the offshore market, with 86% of these jobs going to youth.
"The DTI's divisions have also been working in close partnership with the industry body, Business Process Enabling South Africa, and stakeholders in creating an attractive value proposition for South Africa as a preferred business process services destination," he said.