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South Africa to simplify business in Africa

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan recognises that the Budget he presented yesterday must have as one of its pillars that we should seize the available opportunities within Africa.

This is aligned with the National Development Plan where the South African government recognises the economic emergence of many African countries and the fact that South Africa will be reliant on regional cooperation within Africa to achieve its development objectives. This is particularly relevant in the fields of investment and internal trade within the continent.

Of course the South African government has already engaged in the negotiating process to facilitate both trade and investment within Africa in the current SADC-COMESA-EAC Tripartite negotiations.&nbsp,&nbsp, Minister Pravin identifies that although our trading and investment patterns are shifting from our traditional partners to Africa, stronger links are needed with Africa (and indeed other emerging economies). The Minister announced that in time he will introduce simpler rules to further support the private sector in expanding its operations in Africa. &nbsp,

To this extent a number of measures are proposed to relax cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements on companies. These measures should facilitate investment and operation of banks and other financial institutions within African and other foreign countries. The Minister also proposes similar measures that will apply to foreign companies who use South Africa as the gateway to their investments within Africa and the BRIC countries.

It is hoped that these measures will truly facilitate business in the private sector and help reclaim South Africa as the Gateway to Africa.

Rian Geldenhuys
© Trade Law Chambers 2013

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