Trade Briefs

Simulating UK-Africa Trade Liberalisation: South Africa

Simulating UK-Africa Trade Liberalisation: South Africa

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30 Oct 2018

Author(s): John Stuart

With the United Kingdom set to exit the European Union (EU) in the near future, current news is focusing on the future UK-EU trade relationship. For the UK’s global trade partners, this is very important to appraise. This is true for South Africa and the other SACU member states and Mozambique, which trade with the UK and all other EU member states under the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement. What could the future trade relationship between the UK and South Africa (and the other SADC EPA member states) look like?

When trade liberalisation is undertaken, there are always ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in that there is a distribution of the gains and losses of the changes arising from the adjustments to the tariff schedule. In order to better understand these changes and to plan for them, simulation techniques are frequently employed.

This trade brief conducts a hypothetical analysis of complete post-Brexit liberalisation – or the instantiation of a free trade area – between South Africa (and the other SACU member states) and the UK. The purpose is to understand what costs and benefits would accrue, and who would bear them, in a situation where the UK advances its level of integration specifically with South Africa beyond the current extent maintained by the EPA.


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