USA Fact Sheet 2014

This country fact sheet provides key trade, investment and tourism related statistics for the United States. Specifically, it shows global trade and investment flows including an analysis of top markets and products for the United States in relation to South Africa and the Western Cape, highlighting the largest and fastest growing products and sub-sectors. It also analyses tourism trends between the United States and South Africa. Download the fact sheet PDF above.

Executive Summary: 


United States global exports in 2013 were valued at ZAR15.2trn, increasing by 19.9%. The United States was the world’s second largest exporter in 2013.

Global imports by the United States were valued at ZAR22.4trn in 2013, increasing by 17.1%. The United States is the world’s largest importer.

The United States is the largest global exporter of optical or technical apparatus as well as organic chemicals.

South Africa’s exports are larger than its imports to the United States with a surplus of ZAR1.9bn in 2013.

The Western Cape’s imports from the United States are larger than its exports, with a trade deficit of ZAR1.2bn in 2013.

The Western Cape’s top three exports to the United States are grape wines, jewellery and citrus fruit.

The United States imposes the highest tariff on tobacco and tobacco substitutes imported from South Africa (24.68%). 


The United States invested in 6,077 projects in 2013 valued at ZAR1.45bn in 2013.

The most attractive sectors for outward investment (projects) from the United States were business services (14%), financial services (13%) and software and IT (11%).

The top source markets for inward FDI to the United States were the United States (inter-state), the United Kingdom and Germany.

SASOL invested in the highest number of projects and CAPEX in the United States, reaching ZAR138bn.

Western Cape digital publishing specialist, Snapplify, has opened a new office in New York, investing an estimated ZAR69.7m.


Total arrivals to the United States in 2013 was 57 million, forecast to rise to 71 million in 2018 with a steady growth rate of around 4%.

The top three markets for departures from the United States are Canada, Mexico and Italy.

United States travellers to South Africa only made up 0.01% of all outbound tourists from the United States. This is due to the high percentage of tourists that travel within their own country and to Europe due to historical ties.

Hotel and restaurant industry value in the United States is forecast to reach USD499.5bn by 2018.

Tourist departures from the United States to South Africa were 359,240 people in 2013, with a high growth of 10%. Departures from the United States are forecast to increase by around 2% per annum to reach 433,130 departures in 2018.