Statement by Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane at the South Africa – US Business Partnership Meeting, 7 August 2012

Secretary Clinton
Ladies and Gentlemen

A warm welcome to our visitors from the US and our South African business representatives!

Secretary Clinton and I have just concluded our discussions within the framework of the Strategic Dialogue where it was once again reaffirmed that bilateral trade and investment, economic diplomacy, remain the cornerstone of our relationship.

Our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) that we concluded in June 2012 must be understood from this perspective.

This agreement provides a forum to better exchange views on improving the trade and investment climate and promoting new US investment that is critical to South Africa's national economic development.

In 2011, trade between South Africa and the United States was valued at R130 billion. The US is South Africa’s third largest trading partner of which 98% of our exports enter the US market duty free and quota free under the current dispensation of the US African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) which is expected to expire in 2015. We continue to urge our friends in the US government to consider the extension of AGOA beyond this date. We are optimistic that our discussions today will result in a step in the right direction.

The US continues to be one of the major contributors to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and is also a major contributor to Corporate Social Investment in South Africa. There are already approximately 600 US companies investing in South Africa.  Similarly, South African companies are also investing in the US, contributing to job creation on both sides of the Atlantic.

I therefore hope that your discussions will help enhance trade between our two countries for a better life for all our citizens.

Thank you.

For further information please contact DIRCO’s Spokesperson, Mr Clayson Monyela, on 082 806 7405

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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