Government officials, captains of industries and the SA business delegation at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston in the USA. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - A South African delegation from the steel and fabrication; engineering and services; electro technical and services; and oil and gas sectors has arrived in Houston, Texas in the United States of America (USA) where they are showcasing their capabilities at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).   

According to the Director of Export Promotion at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Luke Govender, who welcomed the delegation to the US, oil and gas is 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.

"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," said Govender.

Govender said that one of the key objective for the dti to be part of the conference is to consider best practices in the incentive regime. He made mention of the Toronto Stock Exchange that offers flow-through shares that support junior miners to raise capital for exploration purposes. He adds that government was looking at the efficacy and appropriateness of that particular initiative to see whether it could be implemented in the oil and gas sector.

South Africa’s Foreign Economic Representative in the US, Mr Malose Letsoalo said SA had not utilised the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to full capacity. He said currently 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 that exporting steel and aluminium products to work with the US buyers to apply for product exemption from Section 232 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 as due to finding by the US Commerce Department that imports of these products threaten US national security. The Government continues to engage the US on country exemption for products from South Africa," said Letsoalo.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE