Cape Town – South Africa will continue to foster trade relations with the US and work together on issues of mutual interest, President Jacob Zuma said during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday.
"We will continue to partner with the US and work together on issues of mutual interest such as the full renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)."
Zuma also reiterated that China remains a key strategic partner of SA and that government acknowledges the People’s Republic of China as the “sole government and authority representing the whole of China. SA reiterates its position and commitment to the 'One China Policy' and we consider Taiwan as an integral part of the People’s Republic of China,” Zuma said.
At a "continental partnership level", the Joint Africa-European Union (EU)-strategy remains an important long-term framework for continued cooperation.
"The Economic Partnership agreement with the EU came into force in September 2016, thus providing new market access opportunities for South African products. Almost all South African products (about 99%) will have preferential market access in the EU,” Zuma said.
About 96% of the products will enter the EU market without being subjected to customs duties or quantitative restrictions.
In his speech Zuma also made mention of the so-called "Southern African Customs Union Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement” which will provide preferential access to over one thousand tariff lines. "This is an agreement that promotes South-South trade,” Zuma said.