The free trade area envisaged in terms of a Continental Free Trade Agreement on which negotiations were launched at the recent African Union Summit in South Africa in June this year will‚ once established‚ offer a market of “nearly limitless opportunities” to countries such as Japan‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Addressing an African Union Parliamentary Association dinner hosted in his honor during a visit to Japan‚ he said regional and continental integration was the foundation for Africa’s socio-economic development and political unity‚ and essential also for South Africa’s prosperity and security.
“Consequently‚ Africa is at the center of South Africa’s foreign policy. South Africa cannot succeed alone‚ but only as part of a broader African success story‚ even though we would like to see ourselves as the gateway to doing business in Africa‚” Ramaphosa said.
He added that South Africa’s vision was to realize a prosperous and a stable Africa without conflict and poverty and the country’s destiny was inextricably linked to that of the rest of the continent‚ a potential market of over one billion people.
“It is our hope and conviction that Japan‚ as an important member of the world community of nations‚ sees itself as our partner in the practical promotion of the vision of Africa’s resurgence and development‚” the deputy president added.
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