South Africa will press the United States to extend a key trade pact for another 15 years at a meeting in Washington next week, the trade minister said Monday.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), due to expire next year, provides preferential market access for some products from African countries deemed to be democratic and following good economic governance.
"We believe that the Agoa has been a useful platform for cooperation between Africa and the US and we are calling for an extension for 15 years," Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told a news conference.
A South African delegation led by President Jacob Zuma will attend the US-Africa Leadership Summit in Washington next week, where the future of the act will be discussed, he said.
The total combined trade between South Africa and the US last year was around $12 billion (9 billion euros) and was reasonably balanced, Davies said.
"Bilateral trade between South Africa and the US is constantly growing, unlike our trade with other developed countries," he added.
"The African continent is now the next growth frontier... The Agoa has one huge advantage for the US and that is that it builds goodwill."