South African Mining and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement: South Africa’s exports of Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was signed by 44 AU member states in 2018 and came into force in May 2019 after being ratified by 22 member states – the requisite number of entry into force.
Phase 1 of the AfCFTA – the various protocols on trade in goods and services and dispute settlement procedures with associated protocols – were signed (by 44 countries) last year. But much remains to be negotiated including schedules of tariff concessions, rules of origin and specific commitments in services and all of Phase 2 – the protocols on Competition Policy, Intellectual Property and Investment. Observers have pointed out that while most of the debate focuses on tariffs, it is key not to forget services. Not only do they make a key contribution to manufacturing value chains but also play a key role in integration and trade.
Mining Services do however seem to be somewhat forgotten in this process. Commentaries on the AfCFTA and services focus directly on the service sector itself, as defined in the national accounts, and on its relationship to manufacturing value chains. The multiple linkages into mining tend to be ignored.
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