Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has encouraged US automotive and energy storage company Tesla to explore the possibility of setting up shop in South Africa.
The company expressed interest of investing in South Africa during a business breakfast session in Washington, DC in the United States, where Minister Davies was addressing investors on Sunday.
This, as the Minister is in the US to attend the 15th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum.
Tesla Motors designs, manufactures and sells electric car components and batteries. The founder of the company is South African born Elon Reeve Musk.
Minister Davies indicated that South Africa’s automotive programme already has an additional incentive that applies to the electric vehicles. He further stated that government understands that electric vehicles are where things are going, including hybrids and fuel cells.
Minister Davies highlighted that government is still on track with the Independent Power Producers Programme (IPP) on renewable energy. He emphasised that investors had informed him that South Africa’s IPP programme is one of the best power purchasing programmes in the world.
The business breakfast preceded the one day AGOA Forum on Monday. The Forum is an annual forum that takes place on an alternating basis between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.
The theme for this year’s Forum is “Maximising U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment: AGOA and Beyond”. The forum will focus on the implementation of AGOA utilisation strategies, as well as, the US-Sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment relationship beyond AGOA.
AGOA is a unilateral US trade preference programme that provides duty-free, quota-free treatment for over 6 400 tariff lines into the United States market.
US President Barrack Obama signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 that contained the AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act, which extended AGOA for 10 years until 2025 with South Africa included.