EU, southern African countries partnership agreement enters into effect
The agreement will apply to trade between the EU and the five countries. Mozambique is in the process of ratifying the agreement and will join in as soon as the ratification procedure is completed.
The EPA takes into account the different levels of development of the partners. It gives Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland duty-free, quota-free access to the European market.
South Africa will also benefit from enhanced market access, going beyond its existing bilateral arrangement with the EU.
The southern African markets will open only partially to EU exports, gradually over time, providing their industries with the intermediary goods they need to support growth.
It also provides for a number of protective measures in these countries, for instance for nascent, fragile industries or for food security reasons.
Furthermore, the agreement increases the flexibility of southern African producers to put together products with components from various other countries, without the risk of losing their free access to the EU market. ■