Aug 05, 2014
Davies positive about SA's future in AgoaBack
Washington|Africa|Africa|America|South Africa|United States|Product|Barack Obama|Jacob Zuma|John Kerry|Rob Davies|Sub-Saharan Africa
"What we heard today is positive, it does create a basis for us to move further forward in our co-operation with the US," he told reporters after the meeting.
"We weren't talking about any particular country but there was no idea that any of us were going to be excluded either."
Davies said the discussions at the meeting had been more general but South Africa was "part of the story".
The final decision on whether to renew the Agoa, which was first signed in 2000, would be made by the US Congress next year.
Representatives from Congress were present at Monday's meeting where statements were made by the African countries involved, US State Secretary John Kerry, and a US trade representative to name a few.
Agoa is a non-reciprocal prefer trial scheme, which applies only to US imports from eligible Sub-Saharan Africa countries.
A South African delegation, led by President Jacob Zuma, was in America attending a three-day US-Africa summit, which was initiated by President Barack Obama. This is the first summit of its kind.
Agoa was one of the key issues to be discussed at the forum.
Around 40 Sub-Saharan countries, which were part of the Agoa, wanted the act to be renewed for another 15 years, saying it would have a positive effect on investor confidence.
"People from both sides of the [US Congress] isle... all unanimously expressed the view that they would be supporting the reauthorisation of Agoa and more or less in its current form," Davies said.
"There was a high level of consensus around some very fundamental principles."
The US administration told the meeting that it would look at the possibility of improving the product coverage of Agoa.
He said it was also willing to look at the rules of origin, with the view of simplifying the rules of the act.
It was agreed that Agoa had brought benefits to African countries and also to the US.
There had been some concern from Congress about how some of South Africa's legislation would affect meat and poultry and the issue of ownership.
Davies said these issues were discussed and some compromises were made.
In terms of beef and pork, it was agreed that certain restrictions would be lifted on specific cuts of meat.
With poultry it was decided that the industry in South Africa and the industry in the US would engage on an association to association level.
"We don't think the Agoa is broken and we don't need to fix it. That appears to be the consensus," he said.
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.