Globalization is aiding trade and exchange of goods and services among countries. Progressively, the world is gradually accepting interdependency among nations and regions. In view, trade associations and organizations develop prominent procedures and platform to enhance the trade of goods among countries while ensuring to some degree a level of equity for all trade zones.
Recently, five African countries were granted free trade to the EU, these and many other channels are available and it is on this issue, that the Team Export South Africa (TESA) came out to encourage South African exporters to take advantage of the available channels and other tariff lines available through the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The issue cropped up during a workshop in Midrand organized by TESA. Mr Malose Letsoalo, the Director of Americas Bilateral Trade Relations in the International Trade and Economic Development Division (ITED) of the Department of Trade and Industry mentioned that South Africa is currently using 141 tariff lines in a pool of 1,835 which are under the AGAO only while the country also uses 459 platforms within the whooping 3,400 non-reciprocal trade arrangements.
He furthered to say that South Africa have seen many changes in relation with their export to the United States of America. The changes, he said, includes more value added goods (nuts, automotives, chemicals and wines) in current exports compared to just exporting mainly commodities in previous times. He added that there are great prospect for exporting agricultural products and automotive components to the American market.
“TESA needs to take advantage of trade opportunities provided by trade agreements like the SADC protocol, The European Free Trade Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreements with other countries. This will assist us to deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Letsoalo.
During the TESA workshop, participating export councils and provincial departments expressed the need for collaboration, communication and increasing the partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the exporters. Again, the event was an opportunity which helped to refurbish a former agreement, that Trade Invest South Africa (TISA) within the DTI leads the process of developing an action plan derived out of the Integrated National Export Strategy to ensure that the objectives are realized.