Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will lead the South African delegation at the seventeenth African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum, to be held in the US, from July 11 to 12.
The Agoa Forum occurs on a rotational basis between sub-Saharan Africa and the US. The previous forum was hosted by Togo.
The theme for this year’s forum is ‘Forging New Strategies for US-Africa Trade and Investment’, which will focus on the implementation of Agoa, as well as strategies for deepening the US and sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment relationship.
Agoa is a unilateral US trade preference programme that provides duty-free, quota-free treatment for more than 6 400 tariff lines from 40 Agoa-eligible sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa, into the US market.
South Africa is the largest non-oil Agoa beneficiary country exporting products such as automobiles and automotive parts, agricultural products, chemicals, steel and aluminium products.
Davies on Sunday said in a statement that this year’s forum will provide an important platform to discuss how to preserve the Agoa preferences, as well as how the programme can support regional integration efforts on the continent – especially the regional value chains in light of the recent signature of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Davies emphasised that Agoa has resulted in a relatively balanced, growing, diversified and mutually beneficial trade relationship between South Africa and the US.