The stalled Doha negotiations would give SA a valuable opportunity to strengthen technical consultation and tighten relations in the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) before the trade talks were resumed, SA’s chief trade negotiator, Xavier Carim, said yesterday.
The Cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal for a framework agreement aimed at promoting expansion of trade and providing a mechanism to negotiate a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), within a reasonable time, for cooperation between India and the South Africa Customs Union (SACU).
The Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU, comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) signed a free trade agreement on 1 July 2006.
After calling off negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with five Southern African countries last month, the US has indicated its intentions to negotiate new trade arrangements with several African countries including Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique and Ghana.
What a blow. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has not yet made up its mind on extension of the duty-free market access for four textiles and garment exporting countries, including Malawi, Economic Report has learnt.
The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community, Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomao, says exchanges made during his meeting with the Southern African Customs Union Executive Secretary, Tswelopele Moremi, will increase cooperation between SADC and SACU.
The United States and Southern African nations are unlikely to clinch a free trade agreement but will continue talks at a lower level, South Africa’s trade minister said.
The latest round of talks between the US and the five-member Southern African Customs Union (SACU) on a free trade agreement has failed to yield fruits, with many blaming the US for seeking to impose a one-size-fits-all formula.
Today, as US Trade Rep. Robert Portman stepped down to run the Office of Management and Budget, civil society organizations in the US and South Africa are applauding the rejection of the USTR’s efforts to revive the US-Southern Africa Customs Union Free Trade Agreement (US-SACU FTA) negotiations.
US activists for trade justice dubbed the week of April 16 as the week of action. By the end of the week, thanks to key events revealing an unraveling of the Bush administration’s free trade agenda, trade activists campaigning for a more just global trade system celebrated victory.
The road to US duy-free access could be longer than expected for a series of emerging countries. While Pakistan was recently refused that textiles and apparel benefit from preferential treatment, chances of duty-free access for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Cambodia are progressively fading.
The US will look for other ways to kick-start investment in southern Africa.
Interview with Deputy US Trade Representative Karan Bhatia.
The US government and the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) have failed to reach consensus regarding the establishment of a free trade agreement. Unrealistic demands by the US government are said to be at the centre of the failed talks.
The United States hopes to agree a road-map with southern Africa on reaching a trade pact this week but will not budge on key issues that have previously stalled talks, a top official said on Monday.
South Africa has urged the United States to be more flexible in negotiations towards a free-trade pact with southern Africa, warning that current talks may fail to secure a deal.
Statement of the US-SACU FTA Working Group
Southern African Development Community (SADC) hopes to start trade talks with China and India at the forthcoming SADC Council of Ministers Consultative Conference in Windhoek, Namibia next month.
The South African Customs Union is in talks with the Indian government for signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enhance the trade and business between both the countries.
Trade experts say the United States is demanding far deeper market access than South Africa is willing to give, particularly in the area of services that are covered by regulatory protection rather than tariffs.