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Friday, 16 September 2011

EU Trade chief De Gucht visits Namibia and South Africa

The EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on Monday travelled to Southern Africa to boost negotiations on a comprehensive trade and development agreement between the two regions. On 13 September he met with President Hifikepunye Pohamba and key ministers in Namibia as well as Namibian business representatives, and civil society. He travelled to South Africa on 14 September to meet South African Trade Minister Rob Davies before participating in the EU–South Africa Summit on 15 September.

"South Africa and Namibia are key trade partners for Europe and these discussions are set to deepen these ties further", said Karel De Gucht. "With a shared vision and a pragmatic approach, we should be able to bring these talks to a successful conclusion in the not so distant future to the benefit of all sides."

South Africa and Namibia are negotiating a regional comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU in the framework of the Southern African Development Community EPA Group, which also includes Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. In 2009, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique signed an interim agreement with the EU. South Africa has a separate deal, the Trade and Development Co-operation Agreement (TDCA), with the EU.

Source: European Commission

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