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Brexit could mean better SA-UK trade

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For South Africa to benefit, support must be given to smaller initiatives that desperately need support and investment

Britain’s departure from the EU means trading conditions will change, especially between the UK and Africa.

Global trade partners have formed a common consensus that South Africa remains the gateway to the continent and any trade agreements struck with the country will pave the way for how the UK will now do business with Africa.

Pre-Brexit, High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey said the departure from the EU would bring increased trade and development between the UK and South Africa.

He stressed there would be more opportunities for South Africa with the new freedom to set a unique trade policy.

This was emphasised at the recent Africa investment summit where it was suggested that a win-win situation was preferred post-Brexit.

Trade and investment can help reduce poverty and unemployment, but a situation that benefits one country and not the other can exacerbate economic conditions in South Africa.

For South Africa to benefit, support must be given to smaller initiatives that desperately need support and investment.

This sector has potential for transformation, and any future trade agreements that neglect it will nullify the positive implications of trade and investment on development in South Africa and the continent.