Nation Brand Forum speaker profile: Martyn Davies

South Africa has as many global companies as South Korea, but the world doesn’t know this, says Martyn Davies. For South Africa to be recognised as a global business leader, he believes its people need to share the same national values. He will be speaking at Brand South Africa’s 2017 Nation Brand Forum on 5 October.

Catch economic analyst, Martyn Davies, at the 2017 Nation Brand Forum being held at Summer Place, Johannesburg on 5 October. Davies will discuss ways of improving South Africa’s standing on the global economic stage. (Image: Shamin Chibba)

A 2010 World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader, Dr Martyn Davies currently leads global firm Deloitte’s Emerging Markets and Africa division as well the Africa firm’s China and Japan Services Group.

Davies has led the World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metal Industry Group and has been awarded a WEF Dangote Fellowship for young Africans, an honour bestowed to those who show outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.

He was previously ranked the number one analyst in South Africa in the Other African Economies and Markets category by the Financial Mail in its annual Analysts of the Year awards.

Beyond working with a third of all companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, he has advised governments including those of Botswana, Ghana, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and South Africa.

Davies completed his PhD at Wits University and went on to study in South Korea, Harvard and Oxford universities. He is a visiting professor at IE Business School, Madrid, Spain. He believes that South Africa does not get the credit for its business acumen, and has often pointed out that the country has created a similar number of globally competitive corporations as South Korea, a country hailed for its economic miracle.

He believes that until South Africans begin to see the bigger picture and understand and embrace its role in the world, the country will not fulfill its potential. “We need to forge a nation and we are not doing enough to forge a nation state…I think that one of the negatives of South Africa is that we still need to see similar, true values – political, national values – being created and instilled in people for us to truly progress as a nation.”

Married, with three children, he was awarded national colours in cycling for South African Universities. An avid reader, Davies himself has published articles in accredited journals, including Asian Economic Policy Review, the Review of African Political Economy, and the South African Journal of International Affairs. He has been a commentator for the Financial Times and The Washington Post, BBC, Al Jazeera and AFP.