International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor on Monday lauded the visit from her United States of America counterpart, Antony Blinken and stated that the agreed objective had been achieved.
Pandor also said that South Africa had thus far founded a number of positive initiatives since 1994 in sectors including trade and investment, technology transfer, education, health, environment, safety and security, institution-building and many others.
She added that the country’s main challenges were rooted from three key dynamics, which include inequality, poverty and unemployment.
“Through the generous support of the USA Government and people, we have been able to make progress in addressing many of the socio-economic challenges faced by the majority in this country, be it in providing access to equal and quality education, decent housing or basic healthcare services to the most vulnerable in society,” said Pandor.
“Our bilateral cooperation is broad and deep and aligned to South Africa’s national priorities. We are determined and working hard, however, to set our economy on a new trajectory of growth and development to satisfy the yearning of our people for a better life.”
She also extended her gratitude to US firms that invested and supported President Ramaphosa’s investment drive despite the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We welcome the positive growth in two-way trade in goods from $13.9 billion in 2010 to $21 billion in 2021. In 2021 the US ranked as the 2nd largest destination for South Africa’s exports globally. South African firms have also become significant foreign investors.”
“Investments from South Africa into the US are on the increase, with the US accounting for 17.4% of total South African outward FDI to the world (dtic). There is, however, much more we can – and should do.”
Pandor also mentioned a number of projects and partnerships the two countries had embarked on and thanked Blinken.
In an interview on news television channel eNCA, Blinken said: “First, I’ve had the great privilege of working with Foreign Minister Pandor, with Naledi, since I’ve been on the job. And she has been a wonderful colleague and partner. We are often sharing ideas, talking about issues not just between South Africa in the United States, not just Africa, but the entire world. South Africa’s voice is so important. It’s important in the United Nations; it’s important on the continent; it’s important globally.”