The Economic and Commercial Affairs Office

The Economic and Commercial Affairs Office at the South African Embassy in Washington, DC is the representative office of the South African Department of Trade, Industry Competition (the dtic).

The primary focus of the Economic and Commercial Affairs Office is to raise the level of trade between South Africa and the United States, to expand U.S. foreign direct investment into South Africa and to nurture the bi-lateral South Africa-United States economic relationship.

Trade Promotion

In collaboration with Trade and Investment South Africa, we promote the export of South African value-added goods and services to the United States through:

  • Assisting U.S. companies to source products and services from South Africa by identifying potential suppliers for U.S. importers and buyers
  • Assisting visiting U.S. buyers to South Africa with locating suppliers and arranging meetings
  • Assisting South African exporters with relevant market intelligence that will enable them to understand and access the U.S. market
  • Assisting South African exhibitors at trade shows
  • Promoting South African products and services at business events

Investment Promotion

We promote U.S. foreign direct investment into South Africa through:

  • Providing linkages to investment opportunities in South African sectors and industries
  • Assisting U.S. investors to navigate the South African business/investment environment
  • Assisting U.S. investors with site visits, logistical arrangements and program coordination
  • Providing information on available investment incentive packages
  • Bi-lateral South Africa-United States economic relationship

In 2016 the U.S. was the second largest export partner to South Africa, and South Africa’s largest source of imports globally. Total bilateral trade between South Africa and the U.S. amounted to $11.4 billion in 2016. In 2016 the U.S. sourced $6.8 billion of products from South Africa and exported $4.7 billion of goods to South Africa.

Major South African exports to the U.S. include: Motor vehicles, parts and accessories; industrial machinery; Diamonds, gems and jewelry; precious metals and other metal products; Chemicals; pharmaceutical preparations; Fruit, frozen fruit juices and nuts; and wine.

We seek to nurture and expand the bi-lateral South Africa-United States economic relationship through:

  • Lowering of barriers to trade between South Africa and the U.S.
  • Holding dialogue and strategic discussions on trade and investment between our two countries within the parameters of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) which was signed between the governments of South Africa and the U.S.
  • Holding consultative discussions and cooperative work on a diverse range of trade issues centered on customs cooperation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and trade and investment promotion via the Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperative Agreement (TIDCA) which was signed between the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) and the U.S. South Africa is a member of SACU.
  • Remaining engaged and safeguarding South Africa’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which is a U.S. trade preference program providing duty-free treatment into the U.S. market.

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Contact

Mr. Malose Letsoalo

Minister (Economic)
Email: MALetsoalo@thedti.gov.za
Tel: (202) 274-7977

10 reasons why you should invest in South Africa


South Africa offers a combination of developed first world economic infrastructure and a growing emerging market. Its investment potential lies in its diversity of sectors and industries. It is also a major trading nation, exporting and importing more than US$167 billion worth of goods every year, from a location that makes it an ideal gateway into African and other global markets.

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InvestSA is a division of the South African Department of Trade, Industry Competition (the dtic). It supports investors exploring opportunities in South Africa by helping with information, facilitation and aftercare. One Stop Shop provide practical assistance to streamline the process of setting up a business. Learn more.