South Africa attracted its highest level of greenfield FDI projects during 2011 since fDi Markets started recording global FDI projects in 2003, according to the database's research.

It attracted an increase of more than 50% in FDI projects in 2011 compared with 2010 and almost 170% more than it did in 2003. During 2011 it attracted more than 140 companies through almost 160 FDI projects, generating capital expenditure of approximately $12bn and an estimated increase in 2010 figures of more than 20,000 jobs.

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This trend does not appear to be easing, with the country attracting 42 greenfield FDI projects by 39 different countries in the first quarter of 2012. Johannesburg takes the lion's share of FDI projects into the country, attracting almost one-third of FDI projects since the start of 2011.

Since the beginning of 2011, South Africa's top sector has been software and IT services, accounting for 14% of all FDI projects, while the region generating the most inward FDI has been western Europe, accounting for 44% of FDI projects recorded.

The most proactive investor in South Africa so far in 2012 has been China-based Powerway Renewable Energy, a manufacturer of mounting structures for utility-scale solar farm installations, which has a strategy to invest in six production facilities in the country during the first half of 2012.