Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. File photo: (dti)

Pretoria - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies leaves on Sunday night for Washington DC in the United States for the 17th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum from July 11 to 12, the trade and industry department (dti) said.

The AGOA forum takes place annually on an alternating basis between sub-Saharan Africa and the US. The 16th forum was hosted by Togo in August last year, the dti said in a statement.

The theme for this year’s forum is “Forging new strategies for US-Africa trade and investment”. The forum will focus on the implementation of AGOA, as well as strategies for deepening US-sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment relationships.

"AGOA is a unilateral US trade preference programme that provides duty-free, quota-free treatment for over 6400 tariff lines from 40 AGOA-eligible sub-Sahara African countries, including South Africa, into the United States market. South Africa is the largest non-oil AGOA-beneficiary country exporting products such as automobiles and auto parts, agricultural products, chemicals, steel, and aluminium products, among others," the dti said.

Davies said this year’s forum provided an important platform to discuss how to preserve the AGOA preferences, as well as how the programme could support regional integration efforts in the continent, especially the regional value chains in light of the recent signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.

AGOA had resulted in a relatively balanced, growing, diversified, and mutually beneficial trade relationship between South Africa and the US, Davies said.

African News Agency/ANA