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Africa’s trade relations: Old friends, good friends and new friends

Africa’s trade relations: Old friends, good friends and new friends

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07 Oct 2015

Author(s): Ron Sandrey, Bonani Nyhodo, Hans Grinsted Jensen, Ethan Williams, Sifiso Ntombela, Masego Moobi, Yolanda Potelwa, Gavin van der Nest, Eric Makamole Mpitsa, Jacques Vermaak

African countries’ trading relationships have been changing in recent years. Trade with their traditional trading partners, the European Union and the United States (their ‘old’ friends) is declining. Trade with ‘new’ friends, such as China and India, is growing. For South Africa in particular, the rest of Africa has become a very important export destination. For South Africa and the other members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), these African countries have become ‘good’ friends.

This collection of studies, prepared as part of the ongoing collaboration between the Trade Law Centre (tralac) and the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), includes special focus on agricultural trade relationships and related issues such as climate change. Previous books have covered trade matters ranging from South Africa’s trade relationship with the Americas, Asia, as well as African countries. This book looks at all South Africa’s trading partners: new friends, old friends and good friends.

New friends: The so-called BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are new friends, with emphasis on the political dimension of the relationship. In agriculture terms, these countries offer opportunities as well as challenges. China is most competitive in industrial production, Brazil in agriculture and India in services. Although they compete with South Africa economically, diplomatically and politically, they are indeed our ‘new’ friends.

Old friends: Scholars such as Professor Nick Vink have argued that South Africa’s agricultural export product mix has remained the same for over 100 years, dominated by fruits and wines. These scholars further argue that the export destinations have also remained largely similar. These are dominated mostly the European Union (EU) member countries and United States of America (US). In the past two decades, following the removal of sanctions on South Africa, the bilateral agreements as well as the preferential market helped provide access for South African products into these markets under either Trade Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) with the EU and the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) with US. These are South Africa’s ‘old’ friends.

Good friends: African countries are described as ‘good’ friends. Regional integration is an important policy objective, and African markets are growing in importance for agricultural, industrial and services exports from South Africa. The negotiations to establish a continental free trade area were launched in June 2015, and could offer more opportunities as many African countries are growing at rates much faster than the South African economy.

This book was compiled with the aim of examining the trading relationship between South Africa and its friends. Although agricultural trade is a key focus of the book, the full trading profile is presented.


© 2015 Trade Law Centre and National Agricultural Marketing Council

Publication of this book was made possible by the support of the Trade Law Centre (tralac) and the National Agricultural Marketing Council. The views expressed by the authors are not necessarily the view of any of these institutions.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce the material contained in these books for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. Please contact us to obtain authorisation for reproducing this material.

Downloads

Africa’s trade relations: Old friends, good friends and new friends [Complete e-book]
Africa’s trade relations: Old friends, good friends and new friends – Contents and Preface
Ch 1. The African trading relationship – New, old and good friends - Author(s): Ron Sandrey
Ch 2. Agriculture: the big picture - Author(s): Bonani Nyhodo, Ethan Williams and Ron Sandrey
Ch 3. The African trade profile for manufactured goods - Author(s): Ron Sandrey
Ch 4. Assessment of carbon emissions embodied in South African fruit supply chains - Author(s): Sifiso Mboneni Ntombela, Masego Moobi and Yolanda Potelwa
Ch 5. Carbon Tax - Author(s): Gavin van der Nest
Ch 6. The Brazilian-African merchandise trading relationship - Author(s): Ron Sandrey
Ch 7. The Russian-African merchandise trading relationship - Author(s): Ron Sandrey
Ch 8. India – travelling under the radar? - Author(s): Ron Sandrey and Hans Grinsted Jensen
Ch 9. Assessing South Africa’s trading relationship with China - Author(s): Ron Sandrey, Eric Makamole Mpitsa, Jacques Vermaak and Marius de Beer
Ch 10. Is it all about the fuels and precious metals sector? - Author(s): Ron Sandrey
Ch 11. An application of the gravity model of international trade from a South African export perspective - Author(s): Gavin van der Nest

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