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South Africa, Brazil and Argentina: the agricultural trading relationships

Trade Reports

South Africa, Brazil and Argentina: the agricultural trading relationships

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Brazil has well and truly entered the world trading stage as a key player in agricultural negotiations. This is through a combination of its own liberal trading regime, its emergence as a global exporting giant in several agricultural products and its political leadership in getting the so-called G20 group of developing countries to the point whereby they are having a real input into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Development Round.

South Africa, one of the founding members of the G20 and an important WTO ‘bridge’ between the developing and developed world in one sense and between the rest of the African continent and other key players in another sense, is a natural partner for Brazil on the world stage. Cementing this relationship are the burgeoning agricultural imports from Brazil into South Africa that have resulted from the liberalisation of South Africa’s own trade and agricultural policies Providing more reinforcing are the similarly significant imports into South Africa from Brazil’s fellow Mercosur partner, Argentina.

This paper examines the background to agricultural policies and trading regimes and patterns in Brazil, South Africa and Argentina to set the scene for an analysis of further promoting the trading relationship beyond the current partial trade agreement involving these three countries by moving to a full free trade agreement (FTA). This FTA would be a significant one in a global sense, as it would be a truly ‘South-South’ relationship between three of the developing world's emerging powers.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


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