SA allays US nationalisation fears

2011-06-07 13:24

Johannesburg - Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on Tuesday described a meeting between US and South African trade officials as "frank" and "extremely productive".

The US officials met with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry on Monday.

The possible resuscitation of a trade and investment framework agreement signed between the two countries about 15 years ago was discussed at the meeting.

Marantis said the talks had also touched on nationalisation, which the South African official had confirmed had not nor was about to become law in the country.

"The meeting has allayed any concerns that we had," Marantis said. He added that there seemed to be "common interest" from both parties in growing trade and investment.

Marantis said bilateral trade dialogues between SA and the US had been "relegated to a more ad hoc basis" and that "regularised dialogue" was needed. South African representatives are said to have requested the US to help them promote regional economic integration and improve the investment climate.

SA should take more advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, according to Marantis. The act was concluded in 2000 and offers preferential access to US markets for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries.

Marantis said that $3bn worth of South African exports had entered US markets duty free under the act in 2010.

No agreements were concluded at Monday's meeting, but Marantis confirmed that such meetings would occur annually and form the preparatory work for the trade and investment framework agreement, which they hoped to conclude at a later date. 

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-06-07 13:52

    You never know. Next time they will have to meet with Mr. Popularity himself President. Julius Malema.

  • James - 2011-06-07 13:56

    Nationalisation. Is it not funny (sic) watching Malema shoot Zuma's jobs initiative in the foot. Imagine you are the CEO of Rio or BHP and you are considering investing in developing some of your minning rights in SA. You know that you have to chuck a few billion at the plan and then reap the rewards 10 to 15 years later. The current political dispensation says NO to nationalisation but the next dispensation (due in 10 to 15 years) says YES to nationalisation. How keen do you think those CEO's will be to chuck a few billion at excersising those rights?

  • Fred - 2011-06-07 16:46

    One thing about Americans is that they can be vengeful and they don't easily forget. ANC beware your wagging tongues and your stupid petty tyrant's mouth. Don't tell one audience one thing and an at the same time try and fool potential investors that are much smarter than you. Don't expect billions to flow into the country if you stand on your soapbox and spew forth your mindless drivel about "nationalisation". Remember it was sanctions that brought about a government change in SA, same can happen again.

  • jock van wyk - 2011-06-20 19:48

    It is of little good to tell them that the ANC is against nationalisation yet the ancyl and the unions call for it repeatedly.

  • WC Republic - 2011-06-22 11:05

    Foreigners are very nervous to invest large sums of money in SA over the longer term because of political uncertainty. Malema's rhetoric helps fuel this uncertainty. That's one of the reasons why we lag behind in foreign investments in relation to other developing economies.

  • dylan stuart botha - 2011-06-22 11:41

    if malema ever becomes president, the US will turn its back on us and we will be finished.

  • Nkulekweni - 2011-06-28 16:42

    Malema's call has nothing to do with creating jobs but a lot to do with self positioning. Now lets see..if mines are nationalised how will the youth leader benefit...president of SA???

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