USA and South Africa expand relations
15 September 2015
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, for the US-SA Strategic Dialogue, that took place on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 in Washington.
The Strategic Dialogue sought to strengthen and expand economic and scientific engagements, improve coordination on public health and education, and discuss global security challenges, amongst others.
The Strategic Dialogue focussed on South Africa strengthening political and economic relations with the USA, with a particular emphasis on attracting foreign direct investment, promoting value-added exports and sourcing support for skills developments and capacity building in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP); ensuring that Development Cooperation from the USA, including funding for health (PEPFAR) and education priorities, continues to be aligned to South Africa’s domestic priorities; and promoting cooperation at the multilateral level with the USA, as well as advocating for enhanced action towards the reform of the global governance architecture.
The US is currently the third largest trading partner for South Africa, after China and Germany. Approximately 98% of South Africa’s exports enter the US market duty-free and quota-free under the current dispensation of the US African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).
Furthermore, the US continues to be one of the major contributors to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into South Africa. Approximately 600 US companies in South Africa contribute about 30% of all Corporate Social Investment (CSI) for corporate social projects.
Bilateral trade between South Africa and the US increased from about R130 billion in 2013 to R 141 billion in 2014. The United States enjoyed a trade surplus with South Africa in 2014, for the first time since 2009. The US investments in South Africa increased from R1.2 trillion in 2012 to about R 1.8 trillion in 2013.