The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies held a bilateral meeting with the United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox in Pretoria recently.
The meeting was a continuation of the on-going high-level engagement between South Africa and the United Kingdom. The two Ministers meeting follows SACU’s trade ministers meeting with the United Kingdom in July this year. In that meeting SACU member states and the UK agreed that their trade relations should not be disrupted due to the Brexit process.
Both Ministers recommitted themselves to a seamless post Brexit in terms of trade and that technical work will be intensified to ensure that the interim arrangements will be finalized before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in 2019. The meeting also committed to further developing mutually beneficial trade and investment relations.
According to Davies, UK remains a key investment partner for South Africa in terms of the total inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows received from the rest of the world. He explained that UK has invested a total of 333 FDI projects in South Africa with direct capital investment estimated at about R159.01 billion over the period 2003- May 2017.
“The UK has been a significant trading partner of SA over the past years and ranks as South Africa’s 7th largest export partner in the world and 2nd largest export partner in the EU region. There is a need to discuss an arrangement on technical issues in order to ensure smooth trade post Brexit,” said Davies.
Fox announced that UK Export Finance (UKEF), UK’s export credit agency, has made additional funds available for UK companies exporting to South Africa and for South African buyers of UK goods and services to bolster trade between the two countries after Brexit.
Fox toured the national One-Stop-Shop with Davies at the campus. InvestSA is the brand that connects and coordinates the 3 spheres of government through a partnership roll out into the provinces. National Government and agencies connect and service the Provinces such as the newly established InvestSA Western Cape. Future roll out will be in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal this year, expanding the investors facilitation service to all investors. One-Stop-Shop will be rolled out to other provinces over a period of two years. InvestSA One-Stop- Shop is government’s initiative to improve our investment environment.