- The South African Trade Minister, Rob Davies, has expressed optimism for more bilateral trade opportunities in the United States, following an agreement signed between business stakeholders from both countries.
Mr Davies told the media today that the signing signified the willingness of both countries to work together.
"That was a very, very important message from both sides of the new administration," he said on his return from a trip to the United States to attend the summit of the Corporate Council for Africa (CCA) last week.
The minister said South Africa will now also focus on South-South trade as the economies of these countries were growing despite the global financial difficulties. "Our major focus will be on South-South relations, these are countries that are growing despite the recession," he said.
Minister Davies also expressed the desire by South Africa to see the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) being extended for a number of years, when it expires in 2012. "We wouldn't oppose a rollover. Our position is the extension of Agoa," said the minister.
While in the US, Mr Davies was hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Initiative, to discuss South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment initiative (BEE), the Doha trade agenda, and strengthening ties between businesses in the two countries.
“Building a stronger bi-lateral trading relationship between South Africa and the US is critical,” said Scott Eisner, executive director of the Chamber’s Africa Business Initiative. “And finding innovative ways to utilise the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and to expand South African markets for US goods is in the best interest of both nations.”
Minister Davies was joined by a delegation representing South African businesses.
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