Since the EU and South Africa concluded a Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the two sides have maintained strong and growing trade relations. In June 2016, the EU and South Africa signed the Southern Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), which governs merchandise trade between the two regions, with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland, which governs merchandise trade between the two regions, replacing the TDCA`s trade provisions. Under the CDAA EPA, the EU has eliminated all or part of tariffs on 98.7% of imports from South Africa, while guaranteeing unrestricted access to other signatory countries. Today, the EU is South Africa`s main trading and investment partner. Below is a list of existing trade agreements signed by South Africa. Currently, the United Arab Emirates is also a major trading partner with African buyers/importers. South Africa has signed numerous agreements with its trading partners in recent years. The country also benefits from a number of non-reciprocal trade agreements, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Generalized Preference System. South Africa alone has a bilateral free trade agreement with SADC (Southern Africa Development Cooperation). There are also preferential agreements with Malawi, Zimbabwe and Croatia, as well as a non-reciprocal trade agreement with Mozambique.
It is currently considering other bilateral agreements with Kenya, Nigeria, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and India. At the end of 2011, it rejected a proposal for a free trade agreement put forward by Turkey, which would lead to destructive competition that would undermine South Africa`s industrial and employment objectives. There are duty-free exchanges between South Africa and the four other countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini) that make up the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The 2012 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement allows duty-free trade between 12 of the 15 members. The Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and South Africa, which came into force in 2000, has made available a progressive free trade agreement (FTA) that has become the cornerstone of the regional trading landscape. South Africa has also negotiated agreements with the European Free Trade Association and Mercosur. South Africa, through SADC, has concluded negotiations on Phase I of the tripartite free trade agreement, which includes the CDAA, the East African Community (EAC) and the East and South African Common Market (COMESA) in a free trade area. During apartheid, South Africa`s foreign trade and investment were hit by sanctions and boycotts from other countries that were ideologically opposed to apartheid.
In 1970, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 282 imposing a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa, which was extended by subsequent resolutions 418 and 591, which declared the embargo mandatory. In 1978, in South Africa, loans were banned by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, followed in 1983 by a ban on IMF lending. In 1983, OPEC imposed an oil embargo, which was strengthened by Iran in 1979. The EPA contributes to improving the business climate between partners by providing businesses with a stable and forward-looking environment in South Africa and throughout the African region. It contributes to the promotion of bilateral and regional trade and thus offers new opportunities to achieve the objectives of the strategic partnership between South Africa and the EU. DTI uses strong relationships between governments and mechanisms to promote a development agenda in Africa focused on identifying and implementing joint investment projects in partner countries; Promote trade between the two parties; coordination of technical cooperation and South Africa`s support for political and institutional development in partner countries; to promote the development of cross-border infrastructure,