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AGOA plays an important role in the economic development of the South African economy. Its associated benefits and concessions are of great value to a number of South Africa’s agricultural industries that have traded on a preferential basis with the United States. It is therefore with concern that we have noted the uncertainty surrounding the continuation thereof.

The possible loss of this dispensation will have wider implications on the sector as a whole. The agricultural sector is key to the long-term development of the South African economy and preferential access to markets such as the United States lend further support to this aim.

As was explained today by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Rob Davies, negotiations on this important matter are continuing, seeking a balance between market access and health and safety issues, commonly known as SPS (veterinary, sanitary and phytosanitary) issues.

Agri SA will continue to facilitate consultations between official negotiators and sector role-players, endeavouring to find an amenable outcome.

Issued by Agri SA, Directorate: Corporate Liaison

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