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Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Southern African Development Community

The EU concluded negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 15 July 2014 with the SADC EPA Group comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Angola has an option to join the agreement in future.

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.

Trade picture

Southern African Development Community EPA countries:

  • Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland
  • The EU is the Southern African Development Community EPA Group's largest trading partner, with South Africa accounting for the largest part of EU imports to and EU exports from the region.
  • The Southern African Development Community EPA 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 EPA countries, including vehicles, machinery, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals and processed food.
  • The countries in the Southern African Development Community EPA Group 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 South Africa and Swaziland form the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU).
  • Trade between the EU and South Africa is currently 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 Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group "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 Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the SADC EPA Group

Development-oriented:the EPA gives asymmetric access to the partners in the SADC EPA region. They can shield sensitive products from full liberalisation and safeguards can be deployed when imports are growing too quickly. A detailed development chapter identifies trade-related areas that can benefit from funding

Improved opportunities for trade in goods:the EPA guarantees access to the EU market without any duties or quotas for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland. South Africa will benefit from new market access additional to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement, that currently governs the trade relations with the EU. The new access includes better trading terms mainly in agriculture and fisheries, including for wine, sugar, fisheries products, flowers and canned fruits. The EU will obtain meaningful new market access into Southern African Customs Union (products include wheat, barley, cheese, meat products and butter), and will have the security of a bilateral agreement with Mozambique, one of the LDCs in the region.

Geographical indications:the EPA includes a bilateral protocol between the EU and South Africa on the protection of geographical indications and on trade in wines and spirits. The EU will protect names such as Rooibos, the famous infusion from South Africa, and numerous wine names like Stellenbosch and Paarl. In return, South Africa will protect more than 250 EU names spread over the categories food, wines and spirits.

More on the Economic Partnership Agreement with the SADC EPA Group

Trading with the Southern African Development Community