South Africa is lobbying to get AGOA extended and the comments come ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to South Africa next week when economic ties will be a key point of discussion.
“The U.S. is our third (leading) trade partner, and our second partner in terms of destination of our exports and also a very significant investor in South Africa with about 600 companies operating in the South African economy,” said South African minister of trade and industry Rob Davies.
AGOA was enacted in 2000 and gives trade preferences to a number of products. Mr. Davies said South Africa and the U.S. have both benefited from it.
Accompanying Mrs. Clinton’s visit are about 15 U.S. executives from major companies, including GE and Boeing.
Scott Eisner, Executive Director for International Affairs & Africa Business Initiative at the US Chamber of Commerce, said the South African leg of the Secretary of State’s Africa visit represents an important shift of focus to economic policy.