Skip to content


South African Trade Agreements With Other Countries

During apartheid, South Africa`s foreign trade and investment were hit by sanctions and boycotts from other countries that were ideologically opposed to apartheid. In 1970, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 282 imposing a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa, which was extended by subsequent resolutions 418 and 591, which declared the embargo mandatory. In 1978, in South Africa, loans were banned by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, followed in 1983 by a ban on IMF lending. In 1983, OPEC imposed an oil embargo, which was strengthened by Iran in 1979. There are duty-free exchanges between South Africa and the four other countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini) that make up the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The 2012 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement allows duty-free trade between 12 of the 15 members. The Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and South Africa, which came into force in 2000, has made available a progressive free trade agreement (FTA) that has become the cornerstone of the regional trading landscape. South Africa has also negotiated agreements with the European Free Trade Association and Mercosur. South Africa, through SADC, has concluded negotiations on Phase I of the tripartite free trade agreement, which includes the CDAA, the East African Community (EAC) and the East and South African Common Market (COMESA) in a free trade area.

Nearly 90% of South Africa`s exports to the rest of Africa go to SADC economies. In 2018, South Africa exported and imported $25 billion and $11.5 billion in goods to the rest of Africa. Intra-African exports account for 26% of total exports and 12% of South Africa`s total imports for 2018. South African exports to the rest of Africa are mainly value-added goods. With regard to South Africa`s overall trade (exports – imports) with the rest of the continent, Namibia (13%), Botswana (12%), Nigeria (12%) Mozambique (12%) Are South Africa`s main trading partners. [8] South Africa is an emerging economy. A large part of the population lives in poverty. The EU is by far South Africa`s main development partner and provides a significant share of the external aid it receives. The asymmetrical nature of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) means that African signatories are not required to react with the same degree of market openness as the EU.

South Africa`s main trading partners are China, the United States, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. South Africa is the EU`s largest trading partner in Africa. Their exports to the EU have increased and diversified, from commodities based mainly to raw materials to a more diversified export profile, which also includes manufactured goods. In 2019, the African Union launched the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), building a single market for goods and services in 54 countries, making it the largest free trade area in the world in number of countries. South Africa`s major international trading partners include, among other African countries, Germany, the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Spain. [5] Major exports include maize, diamonds, fruit, gold, metals and minerals, sugar and wool. Machinery and transportation account for more than a third of the value of the country`s imports. Other imports include chemicals, manufactured goods and much more, mainly in other hot countries, mainly Spanish countries.

Posted in Uncategorized.