Cape Town: Successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup has helped South Africa market itself as an important global player, feels President Jacob Zuma.
"They have seen the warm friendly people of our country, they have seen the precision when it comes to planning and arrangements and they have seen the efficiency when it comes to our security," Zuma said while addressing the leading investors from across the world on Tuesday.
"We have had a most successful and exciting time in the last three weeks. It really has been an emotional roller-coaster for all the 32 teams competing," he added.
Zuma highlighted the fact that situation has changed a lot in South Africa since its first democratic election 16 years ago and urged the fund managers to invest in the country.
"A mere 20 years ago, nobody could want to come. Apartheid seemed near impossible to overcome, but we did (overcome it). We did not give up. We overcame.
"Africa is open for business, explore your opportunities and find new partners and find returns on your investment. It is a positive time," Zuma was quoted as saying in `BuaNews`.
The President also hoped that the football extravaganza would make lasting impact on education as well as new sports centres which FIFA had pledged to build.
Besides, South Africa has made "good" returns from the event. Around 32 billion Rand has been spent on transport, infrastructure and telecoms and 66,000 jobs were created through the building of new stadiums.
"I don`t think any would say no, if we say let us have the Olympics, because we have the facilities," said Zuma.
He pointed out that Africa had performed better than most during the recent global economic meltdown.
South Africa was a central market between the emerging economies of south-east Asia and South America and was also centrally placed for southern African countries, through the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu).
Zuma hoped that the new global framework being drawn up by the Group of 20, of which South Africa is a member, would create new opportunities for economic growth.
"We want to be seen as a development partner, as a partner to work with to transform international power relations," said Zuma.