US investment preferential scheme: SA calls for 15-year extension

2014-07-28 14:50

South Africa will urge an extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) at the US-Africa leaders’ summit.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies today called for a 15-year extension of the Agoa, saying it had been “a useful platform”.

“Fifteen years will allow certainty for investment,” he added.

The Agoa is a non-reciprocal preferential scheme that applies only to United States imports from eligible sub-Saharan African countries - of which South Africa is one.

Davies said South Africa believed extending the Agoa would be mutually beneficial.

Last year total trade between South Africa and the US was R130 billion, which was “reasonably balanced”, he said.

Around 600 US companies were active in South Africa.

The final decision to renew the Agoa is a US Congress decision.

“Agoa has huge advantages ... it builds goodwill,” said Davies.

The US-Africa leaders’ summit, where the issue would be discussed, would be held in Washington DC from August 4 to 6.

Davies said he would be among the Cabinet ministers accompanying President Jacob Zuma on the trip.

This would be the first ever summit of its type.

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