Minister Pandor addresses Foreign Relations Council in US

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has arrived in Washington ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s meeting with President Joseph Biden, which will take place on 16 September at the White House.

Pandor is scheduled to address the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) today, 14 September 2022.

“The CFR is a think-tank, non-partisan organisation, which serves government officials, business executives, journalists, educators, students, civil and religious leaders, and other interested parties to better understand the world and foreign policy choices faced by the United States and other countries,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said on Wednesday.

Some of the high-profile people, who have recently addressed the CFR, according to the department, include Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi; French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian; Foreign Minister of Qatar, Sheikh, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and the Foreign Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland.

On Thursday, 15 September 2022, Pandor will then have a bilateral meeting with her US counterpart, the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

According to DIRCO, South Africa and the US enjoy historic and cordial relations.

“The US is a major export market for South Africa, a significant source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, development assistance and tourism.”

Trade and investment relations take place under the auspices of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which grants duty-free and quota-free access to the US market for value-added products, and has created jobs in both countries.

Over the years, the department said two-way trade between South Africa and the US has been on the increase.

America is South Africa’s third largest trading partner after China and the European Union, with more than 600 US companies operating within SA borders.

In 2021, the United States ranked as the second largest destination for South Africa’s exports globally.

“South African firms have also become significant foreign investors in the United States. Investments from South Africa into the United States are on the increase, with the United States accounting for 17.4% of total South African outward FDI to the world, according to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition,” the department said.