1st Meeting of the Joint Council of the EU-SADC EPA takes place in Cape Town, SA
EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, who co-chairs the meeting, said: "Trade is a powerful tool for development and I am very pleased to see this development-oriented agreement bearing its first fruit. We need to focus now on putting into practice all remaining aspects of the agreement so that citizens and businesses on both sides can benefit fully from the opportunities provided by our partnership. The decisions taken today by the Joint Council makes us advance in the right direction".
Among other aspects, the Joint Council welcomed the positive impact of the EPA on trade flows on both sides. The Joint Council agreed that in order to promote two-way trade and at the same time address certain concerns, there was a need to enhance cooperation on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and other aspects including safeguard measures relating to the implementation of the EPA.
The EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement on 10 June 2016 with the SADC EPA Group comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The agreement became the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique joined in February 2018. The EU's EPA aim at promoting trade with participating countries and ultimately contribute, through trade and investment, to sustainable development and poverty reduction. The EU-SADC EPA is one of the building blocks towards the future African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA)
For more information on the full Joint Communique: