An assessment of the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement
The pdf Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) (652 KB) between South Africa and the European Union (EU) is an important trade agreement for South Africa, as it enables preferential access to its largest market for many product lines. The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) reports that it was signed in October 1999 after five years of negotiations. It was provisionally but only partially applied from 1 January 2000 and fully entered into force on 1 May 2004, albeit with phasing periods.
The TDCA had several objectives that included strengthening dialogue between the parties, supporting South Africa in its economic and social transition process, promoting regional cooperation and the country’s economic integration in southern Africa and in the world economy, and expanding and liberalising trade in goods, services and capital between the parties. It is the trade objective that we concentrate upon in this paper, with an emphasis upon the agricultural trade.
In light of South Africa’s growing ties with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, it is crucial to look back and assess the TDCA against the prospects of an enhanced trading and economic relationship with the BRICs. This is especially so in the present policy environment where the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and African countries are being vigorously negotiated.
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