Patel confirms South Africa’s hosting of Agoa forum

Minister Ebrahim Patel

Minister Ebrahim Patel

22nd September 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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South Africa will host the Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation (Agoa) forum in early November, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has confirmed.

In a joint statement with is US counterpart, Katherine Tai, South Africa was named the host country for the forum, which is taking placing from November 2 to 4.

There was previously concern that South Africa’s place in Agoa could be under threat, owing to the country's relationship with Russia.

This twentieth instance of the forum will bring together the governments of the US and Agoa-eligible countries, as well as representatives from key regional economic organisations, the private sector, civil society and labour, to engage on trade and investment matters.

Notably, the forum will feature a “made in Africa” exhibition that will showcase regional value chains on the continent.

Kai says the Agoa Forum is an opportunity for the US to build upon the success of the Africa Leaders’ Summit and further its economic partnership with Agoa countries.

She adds the forum will serve to reaffirm the US administration’s commitment to the African continent and discussing opportunities to make Agoa more transformative.

Patel, in turn, looks forward to welcoming a senior delegation from the US and a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He says Agoa has helped to promote the export of African goods to the US, and believes there is scope to deepen its impact on African industrialisation.

Since its enactment in 2000, Agoa has been central to the US’s commercial engagement with Africa. The economic policy provides eligible countries with duty-free access to the US market for more than 1 800 products, including automotives.

To meet Agoa's eligibility requirements, countries must establish or make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism and the right to due process.

Additionally, countries must eliminate barriers to US trade and investment, and enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption and protect human rights.

By providing new market opportunities, Agoa has helped bolster economic growth, promoted economic and political reform, and improved US economic relations in the region.

The Agoa Forum should support an extension of Agoa beyond 2025, which is its current expiration date.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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