Aug 06, 2012
SA’s Brics status not a ‘stigma’, US says as it weighs Agoa’s futureBack
Johannesburg|Africa|Flow|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
South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar on Thursday, falling to a 7-month low after respected Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said she would not renew her contract when her five year term ends in November. Government bonds weakened alongside the currency,...
The State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) put a brave face on a decline in financial disbursements during 2014, but acknowledged that it would not meet the R100-billion, five-year approvals target set for it by government in 2010. The development...
Frequent energy supply shortages and delays in the mitigation of these challenges were likely to change how South Africa was perceived as an investment destination, and would deter potential capital inflows into the country’s steel and manufacturing sectors, Steel...
Updated 6 hours ago South Africa signed a nuclear power cooperation deal with Russia on Monday that paves the way for the building of up to 9.6 GW of nuclear power based on Russian technology by 2030, both sides said. The surprise announcement from the sidelines of a International...
Updated 6 hours ago The Mozambican port and rail authorities plan to invest around $3-billion in the coming few years to raise yearly throughput at the Maputo port to between 40-million and 50-million tons by 2020 and to migrate additional cargo from road to rail. Speaking at the...
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...