Johannesburg - South Africa ended a bilateral agreement that protects Swiss investors’ assets in Africa’s largest economy.
The South African government notified the Swiss government that it terminated the Agreement on the Promotion and the Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the two countries on October 30, the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa said in an e-mailed statement today.
Sidwell Medupe, a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, confirmed the decision by phone.
The 1997 agreement will end in a year.
South Africa cancelled similar agreements with Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium and Germany as the government seeks to create new laws governing investments in South Africa, Medupe said.
“This is in our view not the kind of measures to keep the confidence and the predictability of the investment framework in a country,” Heinrich Maurer, deputy head of the Swiss mission in South Africa, said by phone from Pretoria.
“We would have preferred the continuation of these bilateral investment treaties and not to have a kind of vacuum or gap between the termination of the treaties and now probably a national legislation.”
Swiss foreign direct investment in South Africa was 27.4 billion rand ($2.7 billion) in 2011, Maurer said.
The new draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill will be published for comment today, Medupe said. - Bloomberg News