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Thursday, 26 May 2016

SA: Trade deal will help local products gain access to the EU

The [South Africa] Cabinet has approved the economic partnership agreement between the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the European Union (EU), which will now be submitted to Parliament for ratification, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing, Radebe said the agreement would establish a single trade regime with the EU and would enhance the preferential access of some products to the EU such as sugar, ethanol, wine, fish and fruit. He noted that the agreement provided additional policy space for SA in a number of areas. SA had also negotiated a bilateral protocol on geographic indicators with the EU, where 102 wine names and three agricultural products — rooibos, honeybush and Karoo lamb — would be protected. Radebe noted that the economic partnership agreement would promote regional value chains in Africa and contribute to regional integration in Africa. The Cabinet noted that despite the global economic headwinds the domestic economy was "poised to forge ahead". The growing number of investments in SA indicated continued investor confidence in the South African economy as an investment destination. "It further demonstrates that our country is on a path to recovery and continues to be a viable investment destination," the Cabinet said in the statement. Investments of about R25bn had been made into the automotive industry over the last five years, which Radebe said indicated the continued confidence of global automotive producers in SA as an investment destination "and the supportive policy environment that government is providing". New investments of R6bn each had been announced by Toyota and BMW. "Through our programme of structural reforms and fiscal consolidation, government will remain within its expenditure ceiling to ensure that our economy emerges stronger when the global economy recovers," the Cabinet said.

Source: BD live