President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed British Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to ensuring that trade relations between the United Kingdom and countries in southern Africa are not disrupted by Brexit.
May earlier announced her intention to carry over the European Union (EU)'s joint Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and Mozambique economic partnership agreement after Britain leaves the EU in March.
This affects not only South Africa but fellow Sacu members Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.
Speaking in Cape Town earlier on Tuesday, May also pledged future British investment in Africa to the value of £4 billion, with a promise that this may be matched by further investment.
Ramaphosa says Tuesday’s signing of a joint statement on the UK, Sacu and Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will advance talks on a future trade deal.
“We further welcome the regular engagements between our ministers, particularly our trade ministers, and also the dealings between the South African Customs Union and the United Kingdom on a future trade agreement and the signing of this agreement is a clear demonstration of our intent to continue with our partnership.”
May wants to direct her country’s foreign aid spending to ensure the long-term development of African economies in ways that will support investment by British companies.
“I want to demonstrate to young Africans that their brightest future lies in a free and thriving private sector; one driven and underpinned by transparency, high standards, the rule of law and fairness.”
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