One year into new trade deal, European commissioner urges South African firms to take fuller …

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will use her upcoming visit to South African to urge business to take fuller advantage of the recently concluded trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and six Southern African countries. The deal came into force just over a year ago on October 10, 2016. The EU-Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which took more than ten years to negotiate, offers improved market access for some South African agricultural products when compared with the previous Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement. It also includes rules-of-origin flexibility for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. Under the arrangement, the five countries can use inputs from their EPA neighbours without forfeiting EU access, as well as from non-EPA countries that benefit from duty-free, quota-free access to the EU.