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Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Southern African Development Community

The EU is currently in negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement with Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa, as the Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement group.

The other six members of the Southern African Development Community region – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa.

An interim Economic Partnership Agreement was concluded with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique in 2007. It was signed by Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique in June 2009. The Namibia signature is still pending.

Trade picture

Southern African Development Community countries:

  • Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland
  • The EU is the Southern African Development Community's largest trading partner, with South Africa accounting for the largest part of EU imports to and EU exports from the region.
  • TheSouthern African Development Community countries are strong in the exports of diamonds and in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia these constitute a large to dominant share of their exports to the EU.
  • Other products from the region include agricultural products (beef from Botswana, fish from Namibia or sugar from Swaziland), oil from Angola or aluminum from Mozambique. South Africa's exports to the EU are much diversified and range from fruit to platinum and from manufactured goods to wine.
  • The EU exports a wide range of goods to the Southern African Development Community countries, including vehicles, machinery, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals and processed food.
  • The countries in the Southern African Development Community are members of the WTO.
  • The Economic Partnership Agreement countries in the Southern African Development Community constitute a very diverse group. Lesotho, Mozambique are least developed countries (LDCs), but countries like Namibia and Botswana hold upper middle income status. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa form the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU).
  • Trade between the EU and South Africa is governed by the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and South Africa. Most of the Southern African Customs Union members have aligned their import regime to this trade agreement. As the main point of entry into Southern African Customs Union, duties are mainly collected by South Africa, which then redistributes to the other members according to an agreed formula.

EU-ACP Southern African Development Community (SADC) "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2011-2013, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2011 34.5 32.9 -1.5
2012 33.6 34.5 0.9
2013 31.0 33.3 2.3

More statistics on Southern African Development Community

EU and the Southern African Development Community

The Interim Partnership Agreement signed by Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique in 2007 (Namibia's signature still pending) includes a number of key areas that will boost trade from in the region.

The interim agreement includes the elimination of duties/quotas for imports to the EU from these countries as well as the elimination of duties/quotas on EU exports to Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland and Mozambique. The interim agreement makes it possible for all participating countries to re-introduce duties/quotas to help safeguard local economies.

The interim Economic Partnership Agreement includes EU commitments to foster trade within the region and help to exporters meet with EU import standards. It also includes a commitment of all interim partners – except Namibia – to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement to cover services and investments.

Angola currently maintains market access through the EU's "Everything but Arms" scheme for least developed countries.

The interim agreement has not been ratified yet pending the negotiations on a comprehensive regional EPA agreement.

More information on the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique

Negotiations for a comprehensive regional Economic Partnership Agreement are ongoing and the parties are discussing improved market access as requested by South Africa, but also how to deal with trade related issues, rules of origin and cumulation, as well as some textual provisions of the Interim EPA text (e.g. Most Favoured Nation clause, export taxes, sustainable development). Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland have agreed to negotiate services.

The door will be open for others to join at a later stage. Several rounds took place in between 2010 and 2012 and the next round is scheduled to take place in November 2012.

Economic Partnership Agreements set out to help African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to improve their trade.

Trading with the Southern African Development Community