South Africa: Trade and Industry committee lauds trade initiatives with United States
The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry welcomed the positive outlook for Foreign Direct Investment in South Africa and the positive approach to the growing trade between South Africa and the United States of America.
The multiparty committee is in total agreement that the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has assisted in growing trade between the two countries. Committee Chairperson Ms Joanmariae Fubbssaid that, while many would argue that South Africa and other countries in Africa are the primary beneficiaries of AGOA, what is also significant is the 100 000 jobs the agreement has contributed to the economy of the US.
The committee today received an update from the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, on several trade agreements South Africa currently has. These include AGOA, Southern African Custom Union-India, and the Southern African Development Community-East African Community-Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa Free Trade Agreement.
The committee heard that trade between South Africa and the US amounts to about R61 billion and that more than 100 000 jobs have been created due to AGOA. The committee further heard that AGOA should be strengthened to support Africa's regional integration agenda more directly. South Africa will be calling for a 15 year extension of AGOA beyond its expiry date in September next year.
All members of the committee have given their support for AGOA to be extended. The Minister will visit the US next month to further strengthen economic ties. South Africa and other countries in Africa, including Nigeria and Kenya, are firmly committed to industrialisation and this informs strategic trade policies.
Issued by: Parliament of South Africa