President Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to Washington this week at the invitation of US President Joe Biden.
President Ramaphosa accepted the invitation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his recent visit to South Africa.
President Ramaphosa will hold talks with President Biden in the White House on September 16, 2022.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Minister Naledi Pandor, said the president’s visit to the US provides an opportunity for the government to strengthen bilateral relations through engagement and deepen multilateralism through the United Nations ( UN), an important tool with which the international community must face the challenges facing the world.
The two leaders will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, including:
- Trade and investment
- Climate change
- Food Safety
- Energy, and
- Peace and security.
“President Ramaphosa will reaffirm the importance of the strategic and mutually beneficial relations between South Africa and the United States,” she said on Monday, adding that the First Citizen will emphasize the need for increased multilateralism and dialogue, addressing the challenges facing the humanity faces can be addressed. be addressed.
“These include the urgent need to boost economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Pandor told media that President Ramaphosa and his delegation will also meet with congressional leaders and veterans of the civil rights movements, who have been instrumental in lobbying Americans against apartheid and staying true to the cause of anti-racism in both countries.
The US is an important export market for South Africa, a major source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), technology transfer, development aid and tourism.
“Trade and investment relations take place under the auspices of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which grants tax-free and quota-free access to the US market for value-added products,” explains Pandor, adding that AGOA will provide jobs in both countries. .
Over the years, Pandor said reciprocal trade between South Africa and the US is on the rise.
The US is South Africa’s third largest trading partner, after China and the European Union, with more than 600 US companies operating locally.
In 2021, the US was the second largest destination for South Africa’s exports worldwide.
“South African companies have also become major foreign investors in the US,” Pandor said.
Investment from South Africa to the US is also increasing, with America accounting for 17.4% of total South African outbound FDI to the world.
“South Africa’s foreign policy continues to be inspired by its history. The country, together with others, strives to achieve a just, humane and just world.
“In conducting our international relations, we attach the utmost importance to promoting human rights, democracy, fair justice and the rule of law. The said principles place multilateral institutions, especially the United Nations, at the center of our foreign policy commitments and objectives,” said Pandor.
United Nations General Assembly
The minister also announced that South Africa will participate in the high-level segment of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at UN headquarters in New York from September 20 to 27, 2022.
The meetings will take place under the theme ‘A turning point: unlocking transformative solutions to interlocking challenges’, focusing on development issues, in particular health, education and the wider implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“For the global South, the economic and socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 has disproportionately influenced the recovery in the developed North,” Pandor said.
Ahead of the general debate, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a summit on ‘Transforming Education’, where he will discuss various climate-related issues and the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
According to Pandor, the various engagements at the UNGA will provide the country with an opportunity to highlight issues of national, regional and international importance.
“South Africa’s participation in the UNGA77 general debate is a strategic opportunity for advancing our national and foreign policy objectives, as set out in Chapter 7 of the National Development Plan, positioning South Africa in the world.”
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