President Cyril Ramaphosa said the extension of the preferential trade agreement will benefit both South Africa and the US by creating jobs in the two countries.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) for another 10 years to bolster the economy of South Africa.
Ramaphosa said the extension of the preferential trade agreement will benefit both South Africa and the United Stated of America by creating jobs.
He said this was an important preferential agreement for South Africa.
He said they were also looking to South Africa hosting the Agoa summit in November.
Ramaphosa, who was addressing the US-South Africa trade and investment business roundtable discussion on the margins of the UN, said they want to keep Agoa.
South Africa has been pushing for the extension of Agoa over the last few months following a fallout with the US over the Russian ship that allegedly picked up arms.
Ramaphosa launched an inquiry into the allegations by ambassador Reuben Brigety of arms sales to Russia.
The inquiry chaired by retired Judge Phineas Mojapelo cleared the government of wrongdoing after it found there were no weapons that were loaded on the Russian vessel.
Ramaphosa told the US-South Africa business discussion that they were dragged into a war that they had nothing to do with.
However, that was all in the past now as they were looking forward to doing business with the US.
He said they want Agoa to be extended.
“The second enabler for us is the Agoa agreement. We have been participating in this and we see this as a major area for us or a major issue for us. As a participant we are seeing this as mutually beneficial, not only for South Africa but also for the US. Through this Agoa jobs are either sustained or created in the US as they are in South Africa. It may not be in equal numbers, but we see this trade agreement being an important one.
“As you have heard we are looking forward to the extension of Agoa to the current beneficiary countries and South Africa as one of those. We would like to see this being extended for another 10 years and thereafter we can see what happens.
“We are pleased that the summit is going to be held in South Africa and this for us is important. It’s important because will consolidate for us the presence of US companies in South Africa,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the relationship between the Pretoria and Washington was solid with hundreds of US companies operating in the country.
The extension of the trade agreement could lead to the expansion of these companies.