The United States believes that Africa is the market place of the future.
By Estelle Vosloo
According to the Secretary of United States South Africa and Africa could become one of their most important trading partners for the US but Africa as a whole must be prepared to face the challenge.
Challenges will include addressing the urgent skills shortages in these countries and attracting foreign business investment – to which America has already committed.
If you are considering a move to South Africa, now might be the best time to do so, especially if you are a specialist in your field of employment or your occupation is listed on the South African Critical Skills list.
Perhaps you are a business person wanting to expand your business to South Africa, and with the United States rappelling to do just that you are probably making a very wise decision. After all, Mr Kerry himself called the US and Africa ‘natural partners’.
This week’s meeting is evidence of American plans to secure and recapture trading ground lost to the Chinese in recent years and demonstrates the American commitment to trading with Africa and South Africa.
Mr Kerry opened the US-Africa summit in Washington this week where 49 African heads of state represented most of the 54-member African Union at the ministerial forum of countries that benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
Legislation passed by Bill Clinton’s administration in 2000 allows access to the US market for a host of products and services from African countries. But this agreement expires in little over a year from now and it seems that the United States wants to make sure that they don’t lose their share in the African Market.
"Africa can be the marketplace of the future. Africa has the resources. Africa has the capacity. Africa has the know-how," Mr Kerry said in his speech.
"The questions Africa faces are similar to those confronting countries all over the world: is there the political will, the sense of common purpose to address challenges? Are we all prepared together to make the hard choices that those challenges require?" he asked.
"We advocate the renewal of Agoa for another 15 years, with the inclusion of SA," South African President Jacob Zuma told the US-SA business forum.
America is very aware of the fact that more should be done to secure trade with African countries as two-way trade in Africa has actually fallen in recent years, to about $60bn last year.
African trade with European Union has grown stronger to more than $200bn, and trade with China has seen an exponential increase to $170bn from $10bn in 2000. Once again proof that the African continent offers a valuable market and is generating more and more business.
We invite you to make an appointment with New World Immigration before you visit the country to explore your options and we will consult with you on the best visa options before visiting the country and make suggestions on your visa options should you decided to do business in the country.
If your occupation is listed as one of the critical skills that South Africa plans to attract to further strengthen the country’s economy, experience and professional knowledge call us right away. New World Immigration will help you establish if your occupation is listed and what is required to apply for your visa.