The AGOA accord favors 39

South African exports and imports

The Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement has established a free trade area that covers 90% of bilateral trade between the EU and South Africa.

The liberalisation schedules were completed by 2012.

Trade picture

  • South Africa is the EU's largest trading partner in Africa. A member of the African Caribbean Pacific group of countries, South Africa is by far the strongest of sub-Saharan Africa's economies.
  • South Africa's exports to the EU are growing and the composition of these exports is becoming more diverse. South Africa is gradually moving from mainly commodity-based products to a more diversified export profile that includes manufactured products.
  • South Africa's primary exports to the EU are fuels and mining products, machinery and transport equipment, and other semi-manufactured goods.
  • EU exports to South Africa are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and other semi-machinery.

EU-South Africa "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2012-2014, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2012 20.5 25.6 5.1
2013 15.6 24.5 8.9
2014 18.5 23.3 4.8

EU-South Africa "trade in services" statistics

Trade in services 2011-2013, € billions
2011 4.3 7.4 3.1
4.4 3.0
4.5 7.2 2.6

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2013, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
7.7 41.8 34.1

Benefits of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

  • The TDCA's liberalisation measures have been fully implemented. A large part of EU-South Africa trade is now subject to preferential rates. Since the signing of the agreement in 2000, trade between the EU and South Africa has improved substantially.
  • Trade in goods between the two partners has increased by more than 120%.
  • But also Foreign Direct Investment has grown five-fold.
  • This goes to show that EU-South Africa trade is more than day-to-day trade and that the trade ties are solid and dynamic.

South Africa's trade relations with the EU are governed by the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement concluded with the EU in 1999.

South Africa, while part of the African Caribbean Pacific group of countries, is not party to the same preferential trade arrangements granted to the African Caribbean Pacific countries under the Cotonou Agreement.

South Africa joined the Economic Partnership Agreement (the trade pillar of the Cotonou agreement) negotiations as part of the Southern African Development Community Group in February 2007.

Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique had signed an interim or "stepping stone" Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU in 2009. And Namibia had initialed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU in 2007. However, the interim agreement has not been ratified yet.

Instead, negotiations focus on reaching a comprehensive agreement with the whole SADC EPA Group including South Africa.

Source: ec.europa.eu
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