United States intends to increase trade and investment in South Africa because it sees the country as a democratic and economic leader of the fastest growing continent. This could easily see South Africa becoming the biggest economic hub of the continent.
By Farai Diza, at Johannesburg
This was announced by US ambassador-designate to South Africa, Lana Marks, who revealed that the Donald Trump led administration has faith and confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa. She divulged that in addition to increasing trade and investment between the two countries, the United States is also committed to empowering women and youth with entrepreneurial skills and help the country fight violent crimes in the townships and farms. Marks was addressing the media in her first public appearance since taking up residence in the country. “President Trump believes so much in President Ramaphosa, the entire congress believes in President Ramaphosa. We want to increase trade and I will be a conduit to that. As you will all learn about me, I’m not one to settle for third place,” she said.
“ South Africa is the democratic and economic leader of the world’s fastest growing economy continent”
The ambassador went on to explain that during her time in the country, her mandate was to increase trade and maximize investment.“ South Africa is the democratic and economic leader of the world’s fastest growing economy continent and i cannot emphasise in strong enough terms that the United States – our government, our business, our investors, greatly value the partnership between our nations,” she told the media.
Trade between the two countries amounted to more than R203 billion during the 2018 financial year. The US firms invested in the country had been able to transfer skills and develop talent of South Africans which, in long terms, would improve the country’s competitiveness in the global economy.
“We are the largest source of foreign direct investment with over 600 American companies in South Africa”
Marks, an East London born bag designer and esteemed entrepreneur, further stated that the US is the largest source of foreign direct investment. “We are the largest source of foreign direct investment with over 600 American companies in South Africa, which account for an estimated 10% of GDP and for over 200 000 jobs. My message for South Africa is that i am here to work with you to maximize,” she pledged stating that Trump was all along anxious to deploy her to South Africa and expressed his liking for the beauty of Cape Town.
During her time in South Africa, Marks said that she would like to promote women and youth empowerment, including investment in their education, development and entrepreneurial skills.
South Africa and the United States enjoy bilateral relations because both Trump and Ramaphosa’s foreign policies prioritize the economy rather than politics.