Economic Overview: South Africa is a middle-income emerging market. Natural resources are abundant; the financial, legal, communications, energy and transportation sectors are well developed; and infrastructure is modern and efficient. The stock exchange is among the ten largest in the world.
Growth, however, has not been strong enough to lower a high unemployment rate or solve the other significant economic problems that remain from the time of racial separation. Economic policy is focused on controlling inflation and liberalizing trade.
South Africa is attempting to play a moderating role between the European Union and Zimbabwe. UK prime minister Gordon Brown and other leaders intend to boycott a December economic summit in Lisbon that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe plans to attend. It would be the first gathering of European and African leaders in seven years.