Aug 06, 2012
SA’s Brics status not a ‘stigma’, US says as it weighs Agoa’s futureBack
Johannesburg|Africa|Environment|Flow|Sustainable|Africa|Brazil|China|India|Russia|South Africa|United States|Automotive|Energy|Flow|Products
© Reuse this
Department of State Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats said Agoa had been extremely valuable, that he was strongly in favour of extending the benefits beyond 2015 and that the extension should be for longer than a period of three years.
But speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural US-South Africa Business Summit, in Johannesburg, Hormats stressed the administration could not extend Agoa in its present form and that it was, thus, important to begin a conversation with US lawmakers on how to extend Agoa and firm up the countries that should be covered.
Confirmation on the future status of the Act, which extends duty-free access to African products on 6 400 tariff lines, should also be confirmed well ahead of the deadline to create certainty.
Hormats argued that South Africa’s participation in Brics held “no stigma” for the US government, which believes that the country had “every right” to participate in international partnerships.
For its part, South Africa is keen for Agoa to be extended intact for a period of up to ten additional years.
However, South Africa’s ambassador to the US Ebrahim Rasool has warned that South Africa should not be complacent in anticipating the Agoa would be extended automatically.
He has also cautioned that the key sectors, such as South Africa’s automotive industry, which exports vehicles and parts to the world’s largest economy, would be disadvantaged should the county fail to safeguard an extension of Agoa and secure its own future role as a beneficiary.
In 2011, South Africa exported $9.5-billion to the US and imported $7.3-billion in return. Total bilateral trade rose to a record $16.8-billion.
He said that, while Africa had benefited directly from the Act, it had also generated "goodwill" towards the US at a time when a number of other "dynamic" companies and countries were increasingly taking note of the economic opportunities the continent had to offer.
It would also complicate trade relations, Davies added, if a country such as South Africa were excluded, while remaining a member of a regional bloc, such as the Southern African Development Community, that included Agoa beneficiary countries.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US was alive to the opportunity that Africa's growth presented for its citizens, as well as American businesses.
She said the US would seek a sustainable partnership in Africa that sought to add value rather than extract it.
To achieve that goal public-private partnerships were critical, while ties would need to be strengthened between American and African businesses.
It was a global economic "imperative" for the US and South Africa to work together on the creation of jobs "in both countries".
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Macro and Micro News
Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp will suspend operations at its Lumwana copper mine, in Zambia’s Northwestern province, after the country enacted legislation that raised the royalty rate on openpit mining operations from 6% to 20%. TSX- and NYSE-listed Barrick, the world’s...
South Africa's consumer confidence edged up from negative territory in the fourth quarter of 2014, although it remained below the key long-term average reading of 5, a survey showed on Thursday. The index edged up 1 point to 0 in Q4 from -1 in the previous three...
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which expects the South African economy to grow by only 2.1% in 2015, warns that even this “lackluster” outlook carries considerable downside risks, with the country’s high current account deficit “reflecting persistent...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
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.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...