Members of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) trade policy review committee raised its concern last week over the relatively extensive use of antidumping and other tariff measures by SA on behalf of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu).
The debate over the future trajectory of South Africa’s economic policy is about much more than the powers of Trevor Manuel and the planning ministry.
The European Union, through its Spanish chair, has made an impassionate plea for Namibia to sign the interim Economic Partnership Agreement saying this will accelerate the country’s economic growth.
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is having very painful discussions at the moment in Swaziland on its very future, said Minister in the Presidency for National Planning, Trevor Manuel.
SA is expected to reiterate its objections to the economic partnership agreements signed between the European Union (EU) and three members of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), which it believes will have disruptive effects, at a summit in Kleinmond on Friday.
One of the underlying principles of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community is that it should complement and support regional integration initiatives. However, the signing of the Interim EPA by some member states, and not by others, has generated uncertainty within the region.
A number of Namibian civil society organisations, as well as the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have supported the government’s decision not to sign the interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, amid concerns that it caused discord among Southern African Customs Union member States.
The European Union has not agreed to include trade concessions made at the Swakopmund negotiations in the interim economic partnership agreement, but intends to look at the rules of origin provisions to prevent the breakup of the Southern African Customs Unions
South Africa has no right to enforce ’punishment’ on the other Southern African Customs Union members for signing an interim economic partnership agreement with the European Union, an economist says.
There has long been talk that the US was preparing to walk away from talks on the proposed agreement, and the speculation finally ended last month when the US government announced that it would not revive negotiations.
The US government said yesterday it would not revive talks on a free trade agreement with southern African countries.
Thailand is eager to engage SA on a fully fledged free trade agreement (FTA) with the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu).
South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry intends to embark on a study into the potential for a free-trade agreement between the Southern African Customs Union and Turkey.
The signing of a finalized economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the European Union and southern African countries seems imminent-despite regional trade fragmentation remaining a danger.
South Africa, Namibia and Angola have sent the European Union a letter — on an official South African letterhead and signed by the three countries’ ambassadors — reiterating concern about the interim economic partnership agreement and urging the EU to allow more time before the pact is signed.
The European Commission has made a major concession in trade talks with the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), offering a deal that should avert the break-up of the customs union. It proposed a tariff deal that would align the bloc’s controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the bilateral trade agreement under which SA trades with the EU. If accepted, the offer would essentially allow Sacu to maintain its common external tariff and keep the customs union intact.
Global euphoria over the election of Barack Obama as US President George Bush’s successor has been tempered somewhat by the realisation that the Democrats have not historically been overly keen on free trade.
Several hundred product lines, mostly in the agricultural, agro-processing and fishing sectors in South Africa, may face increased competition from the European Union.
Institutional development is considered important in empowering the Southern African Customs Union’s (Sacu’s) secretariat to play a significant role in regional policy development and the associated policy-making structures.
A high-ranking government official has hinted that the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) may resume free trade talks with the US following the election of Democratic candidate Barack Obama to America’s high office. Trade and Industry Director-General, Tshediso Matona, says Obama’s election can result in a mutually beneficial trade term with the US.