It describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to which that country belongs, including with the United States. Includes websites and other resources that allow U.S. companies to get more information about how they can use these agreements. South Africa signed a major free trade agreement with the European Union in 1999. This agreement not only had a lasting effect on South Africa itself, but also set the conditions for stronger EU (and EFTA) action to get African nations to commit to greater trade and investment policy liberalization over the next decade, notably through the EPA negotiation process between the EU and ACP countries. In 2015, South Africa passed an investment protection law following the end of most bilateral investment agreements with EU countries. Established in 2015, the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa offers a coherent approach to the issues of concern to European companies investing in the region. South Africa is an emerging economy. A large part of the population lives in poverty.
The EU is by far South Africa`s main development partner and provides a significant share of the external aid it receives. The asymmetrical nature of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) means that African signatories are not required to react with the same degree of market openness as the EU. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI) is authorized to regulate, ban or ration imports into South Africa in the national interest, but most goods can be imported unrestricted into South Africa. South Africa alone has a bilateral free trade agreement with SADC (Southern Africa Development Cooperation). There are also preferential agreements with Malawi, Zimbabwe and Croatia, as well as a non-reciprocal trade agreement with Mozambique. It is currently considering other bilateral agreements with Kenya, Nigeria, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and India. At the end of 2011, it rejected a proposal for a free trade agreement put forward by Turkey, which would lead to destructive competition that would undermine South Africa`s industrial and employment objectives. South Africa is a member of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), which has been negotiating a free trade agreement with the United States for many years.
In 2006, SACU signed a free trade agreement with Mercosur. In 2007, they signed a contract with EFTA. Since the EU and South Africa concluded a Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the two sides have maintained strong and growing trade relations. In June 2016, the EU and South Africa signed the Southern Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), which governs merchandise trade between the two regions, with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland, which governs merchandise trade between the two regions, replacing the TDCA`s trade provisions. The EPA contributes to improving the business climate between partners by providing businesses with a stable and forward-looking environment in South Africa and throughout the African region.