The state of the global economy and the development of trade and investment linkages between the United States and South Africa formed part of discussions in Pretoria on Thursday, between Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and US Secretary of Treasury Jacob J.Lew.
Their discussions also touched on regional growth and investment.
Minister Nene described South Africa’s economic challenges and plans to bolster growth while reining in the fiscal deficit.
Secretary Lew, meanwhile, welcomed Minister Nene’s Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement which was recently tabled in Parliament.
He encouraged further implementation of the priorities highlighted in the National Development Plan, such as investment in critical infrastructure, labour market reforms to support inclusive growth and job creation, and steps to strengthen governance of state-owned enterprises.
They discussed measures needed to further deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship, including the importance of a transparent, rules-based investment environment.
Additionally, Secretary Lew outlined the on-going steps that the United States is taking to strengthen the U.S economy.
He noted that the comprehensive policy response in the United States to the challenges following the global financial crisis laid the foundation for the current positive economic trends, including the longest streak of private sector job gains on record in his country.
He also discussed the role that G-20 countries need to play to maintain global growth momentum.
Minister Nene and Secretary Lew noted the constructive cooperation the two countries have had through the G20 and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), including on making appropriate regulatory standards for the financial sector.
The two leaders also agreed on the need for the US to pass the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform as quickly as possible, which will strengthen the IMF’s ability to respond to urgent global crises.
Secretary Lew highlighted US and South African cooperation to promote the goals of the Power Africa initiative, which aims to boost access to electricity to more than 60 million households and businesses across Africa.
Secretary Lew reaffirmed the US commitment to bolstering trade and investment in Africa through trade and doing business with initiatives in Africa, which aim to increase economic linkages within Africa and between Africa and the United States.