Brexit could mean bet­ter SA-UK trade

Pretoria News - - OPINION -

BRI­TAIN’S de­par­ture from the EU means trad­ing con­di­tions will change, es­pe­cially be­tween the UK and Africa.

Global trade part­ners have formed a com­mon con­sen­sus that South Africa re­mains the gate­way to the con­ti­nent and any trade agree­ments struck with the coun­try will pave the way for how the UK will now do busi­ness with Africa.

Pre-Brexit, High Com­mis­sioner to South Africa Nigel Casey said the de­par­ture from the EU would bring in­creased trade and de­vel­op­ment be­tween the UK and South Africa.

He stressed there would be more op­por­tu­ni­ties for South Africa with the new free­dom to set a unique trade pol­icy.

This was em­pha­sised at the re­cent Africa in­vest­ment sum­mit where it was sug­gested that a win-win sit­u­a­tion was pre­ferred post-Brexit.

Trade and in­vest­ment can help re­duce poverty and un­em­ploy­ment, but a sit­u­a­tion that ben­e­fits one coun­try and not the other can ex­ac­er­bate eco­nomic con­di­tions in South Africa.

For South Africa to ben­e­fit, sup­port must be given to smaller ini­tia­tives that des­per­ately need sup­port and in­vest­ment.

This sec­tor has po­ten­tial for trans­for­ma­tion, and any fu­ture trade agree­ments that ne­glect it will nul­lify the pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tions of trade and in­vest­ment on de­vel­op­ment in South Africa and the con­ti­nent.

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