A South African delegation of business people from the steel and fabrication, engineering, electro technical, as well as oil and gas sectors are in Houston, Texas in the US to showcase their capabilities.

JOHANNESBURG  - A South African delegation from the steel and fabrication, engineering, electro technical, as well as oil and gas sectors on Tuesday arrived in Houston, Texas in the United States (US)to showcase their capabilities at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).  

Director of Export Promotion at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Luke Govender said oil and gas was a prominent sector in the dti‘s industrialisation programme. 

To this end, the department developed the Gas Industrialisation Strategy focusing on the upstream and downstream value-chain integration, He said.

"The South African government is working tirelessly on policy certainty, a transparent regulatory environment, a conductive investment climate and other support measures for the oil and gas sector." 

"In an attempt to realise country’s full potential, government is working with a number of stakeholders to support separate legislation for the oil and gas sectors from traditional mineral," Govender said.

One of the key objective for the dti to be part of the conference was to consider best practices in the incentive regime, he said.

He said the Toronto Stock Exchange offered flow-through shares that supported junior miners to raise capital for exploration purposes. He also said that the government was looking at the efficacy and appropriateness of that particular initiative for the oil and gas sector in South Africa.

South Africa’s foreign economic representative in the US, Malose Letsoalo, said SA had not fully utilised the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

He said SA exports less than 150 tariff lines under AGOA. He said AGOA gives SA around 6 000 products tariff lines which can be exported to the US duty-free.

Against this background, Letsoalo said the conference was an opportunity to take advantage of the market access in the US and increase exports.

He encouraged companies exporting steel and aluminium products to work with the US buyers to apply for product exemption from tariffs that the US implemented against foreign imports of steel and aluminium.

"Currently, over 259 aluminium products and 39 steel products have been granted product exemption by the US Commerce Department. The US imposed 25% tariff on imports steel and 10% on imports of aluminium products," Letsoalo said.

 He said that South Africa was in continued talks with the US on exemption for its products.

- African News Agency (ANA)