Aug 17, 2012
SA’s Brics status not a ‘stigma’, US says as it weighs Agoa’s futureBack
Johannesburg|Africa|Environment|Flow|India|Sustainable|Africa|Brazil|China|Russia|South Africa|United States|USD|Automotive|Energy|Flow|Products|Ebrahim Rasool|Hillary Clinton|Rob Davies
© 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.T
he 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 partici- pation in Brics held “no stigma” for the US government, which believes that the country had “every right” to participate in inter- national partnerships.
For its part, South Africa is keen for Agoa to be extended intact for a period of up to ten years.
However, South Africa’s ambassador to the US, Ebrahim Rasool, has warned that South Africa should not be complacent in anticipating 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.
Speaking at the summit, South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Rob Davies, stressed that the country hoped that Agoa would be extended and expanded after 2015.
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 would 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: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 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 infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...