EU, southern African countries partnership agreement enters into effectStaff Writer | October 12, 2016
Five southern African countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland - and the EU started a new chapter in their bilateral relations with the entry into effect of their Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Cooperation The flexibility of southern African producers
The EPA takes into account the different levels of development of the partners. It gives Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland duty-free, quota-free access to the European market.
South Africa will also benefit from enhanced market access, going beyond its existing bilateral arrangement with the EU.
The southern African markets will open only partially to EU exports, gradually over time, providing their industries with the intermediary goods they need to support growth.
It also provides for a number of protective measures in these countries, for instance for nascent, fragile industries or for food security reasons.
Furthermore, the agreement increases the flexibility of southern African producers to put together products with components from various other countries, without the risk of losing their free access to the EU market. ■